Robin Williams was reported to have committed suicide on August 11, 2014. News reports talked about this act being the culmination of a long bout with chronic depression. In fact, his depression was a complication of a neurological disease called Lewy body disease (LBD).
I encourage you to read the article below for a fuller understanding of this obscure (to most people) disease and what it can mean to you or a loved one.
ORIGINAL LINK: http://neurology.org/content/87/13/1308.full
Special Editorial | Neurology September 27, 2016, 87:13 1308–1311
The terrorist inside my husband’s brain
- Correspondence to S. Schneider Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Research Support, Foundations and Societies: Serving on the board of directors for the American Brain Foundation
This is a personal story, sadly tragic and heartbreaking, but by sharing this information with you I know that you can help make a difference in the lives of others.
As you may know, my husband Robin Williams had the little-known but deadly Lewy body disease (LBD). He died from suicide in 2014 at the end of an intense, confusing, and relatively swift persecution at the hand of this disease’s symptoms and pathology. He was not alone in his traumatic experience with this neurologic disease. As you may know, almost 1.5 million nationwide are suffering similarly right now.
Although not alone, his case was extreme. Not until the coroner’s report, 3 months after his death, would I learn that it was diffuse LBD that took him. All 4 of the doctors I met with afterwards and who had reviewed his records indicated his was one of the worst pathologies they had seen. He had about 40% loss of dopamine neurons and almost no neurons were free of Lewy bodies throughout the entire brain and brainstem.