Asthma - History

History

Asthma was recognized in Ancient Egypt and was treated by drinking an incense mixture known as kyphi Officially recognized as a specific respiratory problem separate from others was first recognized and named by Hippocrates circa 450 BC. During the 1930sā€“50s, asthma was considered as being one of the 'holy seven' psychosomatic illnesses. Its aetiology was considered to be psychological, with treatment often based on psychoanalysis and other 'talking cures'. As these psychoanalysts interpreted the asthmatic wheeze as the suppressed cry of the child for its mother, they considered that the treatment of depression was especially important for individuals with asthma. Among the first papers in modern medicine published on the subject are one published in 1873, which tried to explain the pathophysiology of the disease and one in 1872, which concluded that asthma can be cured by rubbing the chest with chloroform liniment.

Some of the first references to medical treatment include one in 1880, when Dr. J. B. Berkart used IV therapy to administer doses of a drug called pilocarpin. In 1886, F.H. Bosworth theorized a connection between asthma and hay fever. Epinephrine was first referred to in the treatment of asthma in 1905, and again for acute asthma in 1910.

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