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Explaining Henry VIII’s Madness

Could a genetic disorder and a rare blood type explain Henry VIII’s health problems, his wives’ miscarriages, and even his madness? New findings shed light on England’s most infamous king.

A new study asks whether Henry VIII’s personal problems, including his madness, could be explained by a genetic disorder? “By suggesting biological causes for significant historical events, the study offers new ways to think about the infamous life of the notorious 16th-century British monarch, said Catarina Whitley, a bioarchaeologist who completed the research while at Southern Methodist University. ‘What really made us look at Henry was that he had more than one wife that had obstetrical problems and a bad obstetrical history,’ said Whitley, now with the Museum of New Mexico. ‘We got to thinking: Could it be him?'”


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