Author Topic: Marfan Syndrome?  (Read 3898 times)

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Offline _taren_

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Marfan Syndrome?
« on: April 27, 2006, 02:10:42 PM »
Greetings, everyone. I'm a looooong time lurker, first time poster. Normally my area of interest lies in the Windsors, but recently I read something about Mary, Queen of Scots suffering from a disorder known as Marfan Syndrome. I have it, too, so others who have the condition interest me. I've only read it one place I think (and I forget where) so it may not be true. Also, it's a genetic disorder and I've never heard of any other Stuarts/Stewarts being afflicted with it. Does anyone know anything about this?

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Marfan Syndrome?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 03:10:26 PM »
Hi Taren, I have never heard of her having Marfan Syndrome (several of my friends have this too). I would love to know where you read this. I have read about the possibility of Porphyria though ;)
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palatine

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Re: Marfan Syndrome?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 06:56:18 PM »
Taren, here is a link to an online article that discusses Mary Queen of Scots and Marfan’s syndrome:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3065140

The online article references an article in a medical journal which unfortunately does not seem to be available via the internet.

Marfan’s syndrome may well have affected Mary Queen of Scots and many of her descendants, but it seems probable that those who had it suffered from mild cases based on their causes of death, since few of them died from heart problems.  Many of them lived long and physically active lives, which would not have been possible if they'd had a severe case of Marfan's syndrome, while several of her female descendants had large families, which, again, would not have been possible if they'd had a severe case of Marfan's syndrome.  

All that aside, many of Mary Queen of Scots' descendants were remarkably tall.  The length of their fingers is difficult to judge, because prominent artists like Van Dyck often chose to use hand models, so the hands you see in his portraits are not necessarily those of the sitter.  

Minette and William III suffered from scoliosis/hunchbacks.

Mary Queen of Scots, James I and VI, and Queen Anne suffered badly from arthritis.

Queen Anne had lifelong eye problems.

Thank you so much for coming out of lurkdom and posting.  :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline _taren_

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Re: Marfan Syndrome?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 09:50:03 PM »
Wow thanks for the information you guys! I'm not sure where I read it -it could have been a pamphlet from the American Heart Association or something. I guess we'll never know the answer. The thing about Marfans is it's made up of SO MANY things that could be something else that making a diagnosis is difficult....especially when the person has been dead for over 400 years.

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Marfan Syndrome?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2006, 01:02:48 PM »
Quote
Wow thanks for the information you guys! I'm not sure where I read it -it could have been a pamphlet from the American Heart Association or something. I guess we'll never know the answer. The thing about Marfans is it's made up of SO MANY things that could be something else that making a diagnosis is difficult....especially when the person has been dead for over 400 years.

Mary was often ill, it is true, but it is also true that she knew how to use her illnesses to gain sympathy!

On balance I think she had a pretty strong constitution. I see her surviving a few years beyond 1587 if she hadn't been executed. She also didn't have the stress of ruling which contributed to her mother's early death.

As you say it's difficult to detect a pattern in the illnesses and ailments she had at different times in her life, except that she always made the most of them!
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)