Porphyria: The Cause of the Madness of King George
Pp. 41-46 (6)
William James Maloney
King George III was the reigning monarch of Great Britain who had his
troops vanquished by the colonial forces during the American War for Independence.
At age 50, George III began experiencing various symptoms including insomnia, stupor,
restlessness, and headaches. His systems disappeared and he mysteriously recovered.
Symptoms returned over a decade later and eventually led to King George III losing the
royal throne. Modern research shows that the cause of King George IIIʼs illness was
porphyria. Porphyrias are a group of rare diseases. This group of diseases is
characterized by an enzyme deficiency in the heme biosynthesis pathway.
Constipation, convulsions, dark red urine, delirium, fever, heme,
insanity, insomnia, low blood pressure, parliament, porphyria, stupor, tachycardia,
visual problems, weak limbs.
New York University College of Dentistry 345 First Avenue New York NY 10010 USA.