A group of scholars believes that Henry VIII’s aberrant behavior is attributable to prior head injuries.
Before the monarch’s death in 1547, he was divorced six times and executed two of his ex-wives; the most famous of which may have been the end of his 23-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon. When the Catholic Church refused to allow an annulment so he could marry Anne Boleyn, Henry angrily formed his own church, and that move began the long-running English Reformation.
Arash Salardini of the Yale Memory Clinic traces Henry’s bizarre behavior to a trio of head injuries in his 30s: one sustained during a jousting match when an opponent’s lance penetrated his helmet, one when he plummeted head-first into a brook he was trying to pole vault, and one when a jousting horse fell on him. Thereafter, Henry’s behavior became increasingly erratic; for example, in 1546, he furiously denounced his soldiers for failing to lock his future ex-wife Catherine Parr in the Tower of London, even though Henry had personally issued an order not to arrest her only a few hours earlier.
Traumatic brain injuries are notoriously difficult to diagnose, mostly because a majority of the 1.3 million head injury victims who are hospitalized every year are either young children or older adults. As a result, the symptoms are often dismissed as shock from the event or the onset of dementia.
It is only after the symptoms linger for several months, or someone draws a line between the even and the symptoms, that the proper diagnosis is made. Sometimes, even that is not enough; for example, CTE can only be diagnosed after a brain autopsy.
Some common TBI symptoms include:
- Loss of Consciousness: Some victims completely pass out, while others are in a daze for several minutes or hours. As a rule of thumb, the longer this period lasts, the more serious the brain damage becomes.
- Impotency: Brain injuries often cause hypogandism, in which the brain tells the body to stop producing testosterone.
- Mood Swings: If the brain loses the ability to regulate moods, it becomes very difficult to concentrate on any one task for any length of time.
Sadly, most of these symptoms are irreversible; however, after vigorous physical therapy, many of the lost functions can be at least somewhat regained.
A TBI causes permanent injury. For a free consultation with attorneys who help you deal with the fallout, contact our office. Our firm has a small-town atmosphere and access to nationwide resources.