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Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Sep;25(1):23-31. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.06.014. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Familial epilepsy in the pharaohs of ancient Egypt's eighteenth dynasty.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London at St. Mary's Hospital Campus, London, UK. h.ashrafian@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

The pharaohs of Egypt's famous eighteenth dynasty all died early of unknown causes. This paper comprehensively reviews and analyses the medical literature and current evidence available for the New Kingdom rulers - Tuthmosis IV, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun. The integration of these sources reveals that the eighteenth dynasty rulers may have suffered from an inherited condition that may explain their untimely deaths. The description of recurring strong religious visions, likely neurological disease and gynecomastia, supports the theory that these pharaohs may have suffered from a familial temporal epilepsy syndrome that ultimately led to their early downfall.

PMID:
22980077
DOI:
10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.06.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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