Lincoln had shattered nerves, study suggests

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Abraham Lincoln may have suffered from a genetic disorder that literally shattered his nerves, a new study on worms suggests.

Many of the president's descendants have a gene mutation that affects the part of the brain controlling movement and coordination, researchers discovered last year. The mutation prevents nerve cells from "communicating" with each other properly, but scientists weren't sure exactly how or why.

The malformed protein could actually be causing nerve cells to break altogether, show the experiments announced today by scientists at the University of Utah.

If Honest Abe had the disease, it would explain the gangly walk for which he was famous, they said.

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