According to a Vanderbilt University endocrinologist who is treating one of the descendants, the most infamous feud in American folklore may be partly explained by a rare, inherited disease that can lead to hair-trigger rage and violent outbursts.
The feud in question is the long-running battle between the Hatfields and McCoys. Dozens of McCoy descendants apparently have the disease, which causes high blood pressure, racing hearts, severe headaches and too much adrenaline as well as 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.
You can read more about this inherited medical problem at http://apnews.myway.com//article/20070405/D8OANC5O0.html.
You can read my earlier articles about these two families at http://eogn.com/archives/news0024.htm and at http://eogn.com/archives/news0304.htm#HatfieldandMcCoy.
My thanks to Maureen Mann for telling me about this new development.