Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have proposed an interesting theory about King Henry the VIII, one of European history’s most brutal monarchs. The theory argues King Henry’s impulsive and violent behavior may have been caused by a series of brain injuries, possibly even chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Historical records show that King Henry was a nice, educated and well-tempered man until suffering a brain injury while jousting. According to historians, King Henry was rendered unconscious for two hours after a horse fell on him at a jousting match. In the years that followed the accident, King Henry became the terrible, murderous and impulsive despot we learned about in middle school.
Before the jousting accident, King Henry had suffered two prior brain injuries that may have contributed to his psychological decline.
As the Huffington Post recently pointed out, this theory is interesting because it implies brain injuries may have significantly altered the course of European history, and thus, our present world.
A similar theory regarding OJ Simpson has gained national attention. According to Dr. Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist played by Will Smith in Concussion, OJ Simpson may have suffered multiple brain injuries throughout his career, leading to impulsive and violent behavior.
Don’t Worry, Brain Injury Symptoms Vary
Brain injuries do not necessarily cause people to become violent. Each case is different and symptoms vary. According to the Centers for Disease Control, impulsiveness and difficulty controlling emotions are common problems after suffering from a brain injury.
Still, discussing how brain injury symptoms may have affected famous historical figures can create entertaining discussions. Yale researchers have created an interesting theory.