Too many hits to the head may explain English monarch’s violent personality
Royal Collection/Wikimedia Commons
Hard knocks from jousting, hawking and horseback riding may have left Henry VIII with traumatic brain injuries that muddled his thinking. That theory, described online February 5 in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, attempts to explain the British monarch’s puzzling personality shift from a young renaissance king to a petty, cruel and capricious tyrant, Muhammad Qaiser Ikram of Yale School of Medicine and colleagues propose.
Long before the head-cracking collisions that damage the brains of football players (SN: 6/14/14, p. 12), people were sustaining head hits in other ways, the researchers note. And Henry had some doozies, historical records show. Several hard jousting knocks and a fall into a soggy ditch (the unfortunate result of a vaulting pole malfunction) left Henry dazed and,