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Science Removes Shackles That Held Back COPD Research

Meet Vijai Sharma

Vijai Sharma’s chronological age has nearly caught up to his lungs. When he was diagnosed with COPD at age 53, his doctor said he had the lungs of a 76-year-old.

In the 22 years he has lived with COPD, the now retired clinical psychologist has seen a major shift in how the disease is viewed. “Science has removed the shackles that come with viewing COPD as a completely irreversible, progressive, and horrible disease,” he says.

Still, Dr. Sharma believes perspectives should widen a bit more to include research on alternative therapies like yoga and on the psychological dimensions of the chronic disease. With COPD, he says, “the emotional burden is significant because emotions are quickly translated into breaths.”

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