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Medical history of Pio de Jesus Pico IV (1801-1894)
Posted by: Ivan Login (ID *****3557) Date: February 23, 2009 at 13:43:29
  of 92

Hello Pico Family,
       Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a Neurologist on the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. My daughter and I have been investigating the medical history of Pio Pico and hope that some of you might have information to share. Based on his images from 1847, 1852 and 1858, we think Mr. Pico must have had a pituitary brain tumor causing a condition called acromegaly. This caused his face and hands to become very large among a number of other signs of the problem. Remarkably, sometime after 1858, the tumor appears to have died leaving Mr. Pico normal again. If you compare his appearance in 1858 with that of photographs in his 90's you will quickly see how different he looks, especially his hands and big beard. We have published this information in a respected medical journal and you can find the paper at this web site:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/u7645787h2435373/fulltext.pdf.

       His story will become even more compelling if we can learn several more things. Does anyone have any photos of Mr. Pico between 1858 when he was 57 and in his 90's? If we can see when his beard began to grow this would likely teach us when his tumor started to disappear. We have never found any complaints he had that would indicate if he were suffering from the symptoms of his tumor. In letters, diaries, memoirs or family stories we would love to learn if he ever complained of such things as headache, double vision, poor vision, excessive sweating or thirstiness or frequent urination. People with acromegaly often have painful joints, weak muscles (so he might have had trouble mounting a horse), snoring and being short of breath. At some point he might have had a beard or facial hair as a younger man but as the tumor enlarged he would no longer need to shave as his beard would disappear. Many other complaints might also exist.
       If anyone has access to any such information or photographs we would love to learn more. We can communicate through this web site or other possibilities as might arise.
       Thank you so much for your consideration.        


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