I read the pieces on King Tut in both the Washington Post and in Time and I have to say I was annoyed. When a friend forwarded the WaPo story to me with the note “Interesting theory,” I realized I needed to respond.
Let me just say up front, The Washington Post and Time pieces are just bad regurgitations of the original article, and worse, they exacerbate the stigma that people with epilepsy already deal with on a daily basis.
First, here is the original article, wherein several leaders in the epilepsy community note the theory that King Tutankhamen died as a result of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) is completely speculative: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528812.400-tutankhamuns-death-and-the-birth-of-monotheism.html
Second, I cannot find any REPUTABLE source that confirms that TLE causes feminized features.
Third, Epilepsy is not the result of incest as it was alluded to in the original article and several of the resulting articles including the Washington Post and Time pieces.
Fourth, although TLE does cause seizures that can manifest as hallucinations, this does not mean that people with epilepsy are crazy. These hallucinations can include simple déjà vu.
The ONLY good thing to come out of this is increased awareness about the fact that people can die from epilepsy. That is, if the theory about King Tut is true.
If not, it’s possible this press coverage could damage to all the work we are doing to raise awareness of SUDEP.
Let me know what you thought of the King Tut piece. Maybe I’m overreacting.