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September 17, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(12):959-964. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690120035012

It is of historical interest that the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans recognized asthma, and that it represented as much of a problem in their time as it does at present. Salter's explanation in 1864 of this age-old problem was that asthma was essentially, with perhaps the exception of a single class of cases, exclusively a nervous disease. In 1878 J. R. Berkart stated that "asthma was a symptom of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, as well as one of those that are present in various cardiac affections." He compiled a textbook, which appeared in 1911, in which he made the statement that "asthma is a symptom of fibrinous bronchitis and is caused by a micro-organism."

F. H. Bosworth, as a rhinologist, looked on asthma as a vasomotor rhinitis, depending on three prerequisites: first, a neurotic temperament, according to the teachings of Salter; second, pathologic conditions in the mucosa of the nasal

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