Disease: Secret to Hatfields-McCoys Feud:
“The most infamous feud in American folklore, the long-running battle between the Hatfields and McCoys, may be partly explained by a rare, inherited disease that can lead to hair-trigger rage and violent outbursts.
“Dozens of McCoy descendants apparently have the disease, which causes high blood pressure, racing hearts, severe headaches and too much adrenaline and other ‘fight or flight’ stress hormones.
“No one blames the whole feud on this, but doctors say it could help explain some of the clan’s notorious behavior.
“Von Hippel-Lindau disease, which afflicts many family members, can cause tumors in the eyes, ears, pancreas, kidney, brain and spine. Roughly three-fourths of the affected McCoys have pheochromocytomas — tumors of the adrenal gland.”
And what explains the Hatfields’ attacks, murders, and other violence?