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September 5, 1986

I'm OK: Therapy by Advertised Inaccurate Assertion

Author Affiliations

Simon Fraser University School of Kinesiology Burnaby, British Columbia

Simon Fraser University School of Kinesiology Burnaby, British Columbia

JAMA. 1986;256(9):1139-1140. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380090067020

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To the Editor.—  Occasionally, in this high-tech world, simple and imaginative therapies can emerge. As a case in point, a woman was recently referred to me for management of what was presumed to be exercise-induced asthma. She wanted to continue her jogging, but the intensity of her wheezing was disturbing. However, on closer examination, her findings were hardly those of asthma but rather those of some other intense stridor originating not from her chest but from the left side of her neck. The scar from some previous childhood thyroid surgery provided the clue.Subsequent normal pulmonary function test results and a close look at her paralyzed left vocal cord served to rule out any associated disease. Closer questioning revealed that she was not dyspneic with exertion, but to most other passing joggers she appeared to be at her last gasp. It was impossible for her to jog casually through the