It turns out Ebenezer Scrooge had an undiagnosed brain disorder, according to a pair of modern-day medical researchers.
The evil-turned-kindhearted central character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843) had a case of Lewy body dementia, which is similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
This news takes all the fun out of the story. It’s like when medical sleuths theorized that Abraham Lincoln had Marfan syndrome. The tall, lanky guy was wasn’t tall and lanky from chopping wood; he was suffering from a disorder whose main telltale sign is extreme tallness and lankiness.
The researchers who tracked down the illness, Robert Chance Algar, a Californian neurologist, and Lisa Saunders, a medical writer and physician, say, “All the events described in [A Christmas Carol] fit a person suffering from the early stages of LBD.”
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