Ludwig II, King of Bavaria: a royal medical history


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Abstract

ObjectiveThe case of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, had soon become synonymous with paranoia, after he had drowned at the age of 40 together with the neuropsychiatrist Gudden.MethodWe were granted access to the Secret Archive of the House of Wittelsbach to study documents on Ludwig's medical history.ResultsThe documents underlying Gudden's expert opinion which led to Ludwig being deposed would be insufficient for a diagnosis of schizophrenia according to contemporary standards. The autopsy revealed prominent prefrontal brain atrophy.ConclusionThe evidence is compatible with a diagnosis of schizotypal personality and suspected frontotemporal degeneration.

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