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February 9, 1889

Pulmonary Consumption Considered as a Neurosis

JAMA. 1889;XII(6):214. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400830034013

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In these lectures Dr. Mays has endeavored to collect evidence to show that pulmonary phthisis is primarily a neurosis. His position can be best stated in his own words: "It appears very certain that pulmonary consumption is not a local disease; that it is essentially a neurosis of the peripheral nerves; that the neurosis in all probability establishes a herpes of the vagi, in the same manner as a similar affection is produced in the skin, which gradually leads to all the characteristic lesions of the disease;" "and finally we will no longer be forced to admit that the disease originally diagnosed as pulmonary consumption has been superseded, or is accompanied by paresis, dropsy, intercostal neuralgia, peripheral or multiple neuritis, loss of knee-jerk, herpes zoster, etc.; all those are but legitimate results of this disease."

We believe that very few will agree with Dr. Mays' propositions. It is true without

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