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Robin Williams and LBD

Actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide in August 2014. At first, it was believed that depression had led to his death. However, in November 2015, his widow, Susan Williams, blamed his death on LBD.

Susan Williams said that Robin started having a variety of symptoms in 2013. In 2014, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, anxiety, and depression. After his death, the coroner's report indicated that he had LBD. Susan now attributes his suicide to LBD. Significantly, she said that she and Robin began sleeping in separate rooms due to his sleep disorder, which can be a symptom of LBD.

The article from the New York Times notes that LBD is often mistaken for Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease: "The similarities in the three disorders are extensive enough that it often takes more than a year — and multiple visits to specialists — to get an accurate diagnosis."

In her interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Susan Williams said of LBD, "This disease is like a sea monster with 50 tentacles of symptoms that show when they want. It's chemical warfare in the brain. And we can't find it until someone dies definitively. There is no cure." She added: "This was a very unique case and I pray to God that it will shed some light on Lewy bodies for the millions of people and their loved ones who are suffering with it. Because we didn't know. He didn't know."

In late September 2016, Susan Williams published an article in the medical journal Neurology. She recounts the many symptoms Robin exhibited and the many doctors they visited. An autopsy found that he had one of the worst LBD pathologies the doctors had ever seen. Despite that, he was not diagnosed with LBD until after his death. This article was well-publicized.

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