The Medical Lives of History`s Famous People

Indexed in: EBSCO

This eBook “ Medical Lives of History`s Famous People” highlights the consequences of numerous medical concerns of historical individuals. It also discusses in depth how the public lives of ...
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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.