Gilbert Gottfried died after a long illness. What is myotonic dystrophy type II, the rare disease that reportedly caused his death?

Iconic comic Gilbert Gottfried died on Tuesday after what his household mentioned was “a protracted sickness.” His consultant mentioned Gottfried’s demise was brought on by a coronary heart rhythm subject known as recurrent ventricular tachycardia, which resulted from myotonic dystrophy kind II. What is that this uncommon illness?

There are two kinds of myotonic dystrophy, a illness that impacts the muscle groups and different physique methods, in response to the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH). This illness is the most typical type of muscular dystrophy that begins in maturity.

Myotonic dystrophy kind II, which Gottfried reportedly had, is inherited, NIH explains. It causes muscle weak spot, ache and stiffness, and the signs normally develop throughout an individual’s 20s or 30s.

Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried on February 3, 2020 in New York Metropolis.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Photos for SiriusXM


Myotonic dystrophy kind II impacts the muscle groups in addition to organs like the guts, eyes and pancreas, and causes extended muscle tensing often called myotonia. The severity of the situation varies for various individuals, and even amongst members of the family.

Myotonic dystrophy can be recognized to trigger irregular electrical management of the heartbeat.

Ventricular tachycardia is a situation the place the guts beats sooner — normally 100 or extra beats per minute, whereas the common is 60 or 100 beats per minute. It’s brought on by irregular electrical indicators within the decrease chambers of the guts, in response to the Mayo Clinic.

Ventricular tachycardia could be brought on by many issues, together with having had a previous coronary heart assault, congenital coronary heart ailments, and even treatment reactions.

Over his lengthy profession, Gottfried was recognized for his brash comedian persona and distinctive voice, which he famously used to painting the parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

“Along with being probably the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was an exquisite husband, brother, buddy and father to his two younger youngsters. Though at this time is a tragic day for all of us, please preserve laughing as loud as attainable in Gilbert’s honor ,” his household mentioned in an announcement posted on Twitter,

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