Monday, November 21, 2016

1861: Merkel supports nervous theory of asthma

Another physician who discussed his ideas regarding asthma was Dr. L. Merkel.
In his 1917 review of the history of asthma, Dr. Orville Henry Brown said the following of Merkel:
Merkel, after an exhaustive survey of the literature of asthma, comes to the following conclusions:
  1.  Asthma is an affection of the bronchi caused by a neurosis or by an over-stimulation of the nerves of the respiratory system.
  2. The cramps are sometimes useful for the purpose of preventing the entrance of foreign bodies into the respiratory tract.
  3. But from various causes this function may be exercised when it is of no benefit or use.
  4. The spasm involves the muscles of respiration.
  5. Bronchorrhea, bronchitis, dilation of the bronchi,and congestion commonly result.
  6. Asthma is usually complicated by catarrh, emphysema, and heart disease.
  7. Treatment is most efficacious if directed toward the nervous system.
  8. Inhalations are the most efficacious treatment. 
  9. The location of the neurosis cannot be stated but on that account cannot be denied. (1, page 35)
That's all I have for today.

  1. Brown, Orville Harry, "Asthma, presenting an exposition of nonpassive expiration theory," 1917, St. Louis, C.V. Mosby Company; reference used: "Merkel, L.: Schmidt's Jahrb., 1861, cix, p. 225.
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