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To: neverdem

Interesting.

I had asthma— pretty severe— as a kid, and as most do, grew out of it. It seems to be coming back now; I’m in my early 50’s.

The meds I took as a kid are no longer prescribed— they involved some amphetamine combined, I think with phenobarbital, supposedly to counter the effects of the former. One of the drugs was called Tedral and it kept me in a constant semi-dazed state.

I guess it was 12 or so years ago that I was taking anatomy and physiology. The Doc teaching the course remarked that asthma was associated with the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system; that stimulating the sympathetic system caused the airways to open. That was why speed was used to medicate it, and why kids with asthma should be encouraged to participate in sports. That squared with my own experience. (By the way, I think I’m getting this right, the sympathetic pathways are the ones that get you “up,’ parasympathetic responses get you ‘down.’ Physically, I mean. I think. The sympathetic response, paradoxically, doesn’t make you very sympathetic.)

Some years later I’m talking to my cousin’s wife. Both are real doctors, and we’re talking about asthma. Her kids had it. I recounted the foregoing theory and she told me that the new drugs did none of those things, that the new approach is to treat the condition as an inflammation. “It’s much better now, besides, that other stuff had speed in it, it’d make you crazy.” She’s very frank.

And maybe so. Crazy enough to venture a reply on something I know just enough about to make a fool of myself.

Let me know me know how well I’ve succeeded. I am curious and would like to compare notes.


4 posted on 04/06/2010 12:07:41 AM PDT by tsomer
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To: tsomer
I had asthma— pretty severe— as a kid, and as most do, grew out of it. It seems to be coming back now; I’m in my early 50’s.

I wonder how much would now be diagnosed as exercised induced bronchospasm or exercised induced asthma?

I guess it was 12 or so years ago that I was taking anatomy and physiology. The Doc teaching the course remarked that asthma was associated with the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system; that stimulating the sympathetic system caused the airways to open. That was why speed was used to medicate it, and why kids with asthma should be encouraged to participate in sports. That squared with my own experience. (By the way, I think I’m getting this right, the sympathetic pathways are the ones that get you “up,’ parasympathetic responses get you ‘down.’ Physically, I mean. I think. The sympathetic response, paradoxically, doesn’t make you very sympathetic.)

I can live with that description of the autonomic nervous system.

Some years later I’m talking to my cousin’s wife. Both are real doctors, and we’re talking about asthma. Her kids had it. I recounted the foregoing theory and she told me that the new drugs did none of those things, that the new approach is to treat the condition as an inflammation. “It’s much better now, besides, that other stuff had speed in it, it’d make you crazy.” She’s very frank.

Inhaled steroids for chronic inflammation in the lungs is the latest standard of care, IIRC.

And maybe so. Crazy enough to venture a reply on something I know just enough about to make a fool of myself.

Let me know me know how well I’ve succeeded.

Overall, fairly well. They have been backing off drugs like salmeterol, long acting drugs that inhibit bronchoconstriction in the lung's smooth muscles for a while now.

I could be wrong.

9 posted on 04/06/2010 1:29:52 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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