A year after Robin Williams died we learn the real reason behind his untimely death. His widow, Susan Schneider told People Magazine & Good Morning America that it wasn’t depression that killed Robin, but Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) that caused him to commit suicide.
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DLB is the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s, but also one of diseases that’s most frequently misdiagnosed. According to the Mayo Clinic, it happens when protein deposits called Lewy bodies develop in nerve cells in regions of your brain involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control). The build up causes a progressive decline in mental abilities, leading to fluctuations in mental status, hallucination and impairment of motor function.
The disease began taking its toll on Williams, causing him to experience heightened levels of anxiety, delusions and impaired movement. Yet, doctors couldn’t figure out exactly what he had, since his symptoms were similar to those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Williams didn’t have the medications and understanding to properly battle the progressive disease, which was progressing faster than he and the doctors could handle.