Elvis Presley’s premature death may not have been caused by his lifestyle alone, but brought on by an undiagnosed genetic condition, a new documentary claims. After tracking down a sample of Elvis’ hair and analysing its DNA, scientists found evidence that the singer was genetically prone to migranes, obesity and heart disease. In the first episode of Dead Famous DNA, presenter Mark Evans tracks down a sample of Elvis’ hair from a friend of his barber. Tom B Morgan Jnr claims barber Homer Gilleland captured hair falling from Elvis’ head in a towel placed on his shoulders during his regular trims, and has since stored the hair in a bank vault. After analysing Elvis’s DNA, scientists found a gene mutation known to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a heart muscle disease that usually occurs in men between the ages of 20 and 40, causing which causes the thickening of the heart and weakening of the heart muscle. Professor Stefan Shuester who extracted Elvis’ DNA from the hair said it was the best genome he has done. ‘This genome of a dead person who has died a long time ago is the best genome we have ever done,’ the Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennyslvania State University said. ‘In fact we can actually decipher nearly 90 per cent of his genome… This is the blueprint of genetic information of what makes a person.’ After extracting the genome, the DNA sample was sent to medical geneticists in Kansas who found several mutations in Elvis’ DNA. Mutations, known as ‘variants’ can both benefit and harm, and in Elvis’ case the combination of his ‘variants’ may have been fatal. The analysis, carried out by Dr Stephen Kingsmore, Director of the Centre for Paediatric Genomic Medicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City found four major chromosome mutations. Elvis displayed many of the symptoms of this disease towards the end of his life including – irregular heartbeat, fatigue, fainting, high blood pressure. Dr Kingsmore said: ‘We know that Elvis had a strong family history of heart failure, and we know that he died suddenly, and at autopsy his heart was indeed thickened, which is another word for cardiomyopathy of a particular type. So this was a very good fit with Elvis’ clinical picture. ‘There had been so much speculation about cause of death, and so much ill spoken of his lifestyle, and we had this intriguing finding that possibly Elvis actually had a medical illness, and all of the stuff about how he killed himself with his lifestyle might have been very unfair. ‘ – full article
In my book BLUE STAR LOVE is also to be found a list of Elvis’ numerous, serious medical conditions. This latest finding could be at the crux of them all! UNIVERSITY OF UTAH’S CENTER FOR HUMAN TOXICOLOGY REPORT CONCLUDED:
Elvis was not a junkie, as some scandal magazines have tried to say… Dr. Finkle answered some questions, and the two-page report based on his findings – which he wrote at Bio-Science’s request – satisfied Shelby (Tennessee) County Medical Examiner, Dr. Jerry T. Francisco that Elvis’ death was not from drug overdose’ or even from having a large number of drugs present in his body at one time… Presley family rights prevail, and there are no legal duties to make the information public.