* Claude Rimington, a British biochemist who suggested...

DEATHS ELSEWHERE

August 16, 1993

* Claude Rimington, a British biochemist who suggested that King George III had suffered from an inherited abnormality, died Aug. 8 in Askeroy, Norway, British newpapers reported last week. He was 90 and had retired to Norway in 1968. Professor Rimington held a chair in chemical pathology at University College Medical School in London from 1945 until 1967. He was an authority on the biochemistry of porphyrins, pigments that are vital components in hemoglobin, an element in blood. In the 1960s, he helped investigate a hypothesis by two psychiatric historians, Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter, about George III, who lived from 1738 to 1820 and was seen as a tyrant by many American colonists. It was long thought that the king had bouts of insanity. Drawing on historical evidence, Rimington and the two historians became the co-authors of a 1968 paper on the king. In it, they suggested that he was plagued by an inherited abnormality of porphyrin metabolism, variegate porphyria, in which porphyrins build up in the body. Left untreated, the disease can cause delirium and psychotic behavior.

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