NFL players always suffer from brain injuries as a result of repeated blows to the head, and Yale University experts in cognitive neurology scour evidences that suggest King Henry VIII may have also suffered brain injuries in 1524 which invariably led to his erratic behaviors in later life - Phys.org reports.
Henry VIII died in 1547, but the last decade before his death was characterized by memory lapses, extreme anger, inability to control impulses, insomnia, headaches, and perhaps impotence which may all have been results of traumatic brain injuries he suffered.
"It is intriguing to think that modern European history may have changed forever because of a blow to the head," said Arash Salardini, behavioral neurologist, co-director of the Yale Memory Clinic and senior author of the study.
Henry’s personal crisis came to a head when he wanted to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon and marry Ann Boleyn – something the Catholic Church disagreed with, but which led to the English Reformation and the creation of the Church of England. The English monarch was known to have married six times, and even executed two of his wives.
Researchers Muhammad Qaiser Ikram and Fazle Hakim Saijad analyzed volumes of Henry’s letters and a number of historical sources to reveal that personal injuries sustained from jousting led to brain trauma and subsequent behavioral problems the monarch suffered.
He suffered two major head injuries while in his 30s, and a blunt lance entered his visor while he participated in jousting – an incident that dazed him. And while trying to vault across a brook with a pole in 1524, he fell headlong into the brook and got knocked out. Then in early 1536, a horse fell on him while jousting and he just lost it afterwards.
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According to Salardini, historians all agree that Henry VIII’s behavior changed after the incident of 1536 and he became notoriously erratic, forgetful, and prone to rage and impulsive decisions.