The famous German composer Ludwig von Beethoven wanted his illness to be researched and information disseminated as far as possible so that people would remember him even after his death. In honor of Betofen’s wishes, researchers analyzed DNA from a few strands of his hair nearly two hundred years after his death. It also provided insights into his lineage, chronic health issues and what may have led to his death at the age of 56.
According to CNN, the results of the study, which was carried out using five hairs as a sample, were published in the journal ‘Current Biology’ on Wednesday. Co-author Johannes Krauss, a professor at the Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said the primary goal of the study was to find out what caused Betofen’s health problems; Chief among these was the loss of his hearing and in 1818 he became completely deaf.