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September 17, 1910


JAMA. 1910;55(12):1021-1024. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330120043014

It is now generally accepted that bronchial or idiopathic asthma is due primarily to a stenosis of the bronchioli. It is not necessary to dwell here on the particulars of this disease. For the purpose of this paper, however, the following facts may be mentioned. Asthmatic attacks occur only in individuals who are especially subject to it, that is in asthmatics. Furthermore, onset and disappearance of the attacks bear the character of capriciousness. Heredity, also, seems to be an influential element in some instances. Finally, there is practically no pathologic anatomy in this disease. On the basis of these facts, bronchial asthma is considered as a functional disease which, according to the prevailing view, means a neurosis; hence also the term nervous asthma. From the symptomatology we shall mention here only the following points: By percussion it can be established that during an attack of asthma the lungs are overdistended.

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