What did Beethoven die from? This is indicated by the first genetic analysis

the Beethoven’s life always was marked by disease And in a certain way, he had always known that the evils for which he had been blamed since his youth would be the death penalty. So much so that when he was barely 32 years old, the Austrian composer asked his physician, Dr. Schmidt, to describe his illness in detail so that “as far as possible, The world reconciled with me after my deathFor centuries there has been speculation about what diseases Beethoven suffered from and what caused his untimely death. Now, thanks to an analysis of several strands of the composer’s hair, an international team of researchers has come to a conclusion. get into composer’s genome and find out the cause of the ailments that tormented him.

The analysis, published Wednesday in the scientific journal Current Biology, succeeded in reconstructing Complete genome sequencing of the composer. That is, all the information that was recorded in their genes and that His life and death were marked. Our main goal was to shed light on Beethoven’s health problems progressive hearing loss which even led him to deafness Gastrointestinal disorders Which made him suffer a lot throughout his life,” explains Johannes Krause, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and author of this study.

For centuries there has been speculation On Beethoven’s health and death. An analysis of the letters sent by the Austrian composer shows how the “terrible health problems” he suffered from over the years worsened and caused him, for example, many Jaundice attacks His eyes and skin were dyed yellow. It has always been said that Beethoven died as a result of a long-term illness. Some argue that the final trigger was a cirrhosis attack. And whoever thinks it has to do with a stretch Lead, opiate or mercury poisoning. But what is true about all this?

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This is the diagnosis Which results in the first Ludwig van Beethoven genetic analysis.

Liver disease

Analysis of Beethoven’s genome reveals that the Austrian had it Genetic predisposition you have liver problems. Your genes indicate a number of risk factors It could have caused him to suffer Chronic and acute liver problems. To this, according to experts, we must add the effect of their prolonged alcohol consumption. Beethoven said this in his letters your consumption of Alcoholic drinks were very average. We can’t know exactly how much he consumed, but if his alcohol intake was heavy and long enough, the combination of habit and genetic risk factors It could explain chronic liver problemsexplains Tristan Page, from the University of Cambridge.

Hepatitis b

The genetic study also revealed that Beethoven suffered infection happened because Hepatitis B virus during the last months of his life. This disease (which is transmitted either through contact with blood or through sexual practices) is known to increase the risk of infection Liver failure and cirrhosis and other liver diseases. “It is likely that this infection contributed to his death,” explains the team that led this analysis.

hearing loss

Beethoven’s genes have not (yet) been able to provide a convincing explanation for progressive hearing loss that influenced the composer. According to the researchers who led this analysis, an attempt was made Track the presence of various genetic diseases It can cause deafness but, at the moment, none have been found. Although no genetic basis for Beethoven’s hearing loss has been found, this scenario cannot be completely ruled out. Future genetic analyzes may Giving more clues about the origins of this diseaseExplains Axel Schmidt, researcher at the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital Bonn and author of this study.

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Gastrointestinal disorders

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Genetic analyzes rule out the three main hypotheses that have been used so far to try to explain Beethoven’s intestinal problems. The composer’s genome indicates this I was not celiac nor lactose intolerantto. You don’t have either Irritable bowel syndrome (In fact, it appears he had some degree of genetic protection against the disease.) His stormy stomach troubles continue without a clear explanation.

Beethoven case

The last point left by this genetic analysis, which has nothing to do with the composer’s health, is The story of an affair In the composer’s family. Experts compared the genome of Ludwig van Beethoven with the genome of five living relatives who, according to family trees traced so far, live in present-day Belgium. It turns out that None of these five descendants are directly related with the Austrian composer. Experts believe this is due to an “extramarital affair” in Beethoven’s paternal bloodline. that is, at some point during the seven generations preceding the birth of the artist, One of his ancestors had an affair This, two centuries later, came to light.

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