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Robin Williams Suffered From Lewy Body Dementia

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posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 02:04 PM
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I thought this was worth posting because a lot of people pm ATS followed the coverage surrounding Robin William's death and this new information adds considerably to the context.

TMZ is reporting that Robin Williams suffered from a disease called Lewis Body Dementia and it's now believed that hallucinations caused by this disease were a "key factor" in his suicide. From TMZ:


Robin Williams' suicide was triggered by a horrible disease called Lewy Body Dementia ... sources connected with his family tell TMZ.

TMZ has obtained documents showing Williams was struggling with the disease, which is marked by abnormal protein deposits in the brain that disrupt normal function.

Lewy Body Dementia is a common condition associated with Parkinson's ... and people afflicted by both often get severe side effects from Parkinson's meds. Hallucinations are common, where patients see phantom objects, people or animals. The patients often try to converse with the illusions.


Here are the symptoms for LBD from the Wikipedia page:


While the specific symptoms in a person with DLB will vary, core features of DLB are: fluctuating cognition with great variations in attention and alertness from day to day and hour to hour, recurrent visual hallucinations (observed in 75% of people with DLB), and motor features of Parkinson's. Suggestive symptoms are rapid eye movement (REM)-sleep behavior disorder and abnormalities detected in PET or SPECT scans.[6]

Parkinson's features could include shuffling gait, reduced arm-swing during walking, blank expression (reduced range of facial expression), stiffness of movements, ratchet-like cogwheeling movements; low speech volume, sialorrhea and difficulty swallowing. Tremors are less common in DLB than in Parkinson's disease.[7] DLB patients also often experience problems with orthostatic hypotension, including repeated falls, syncope (fainting), and transient loss of consciousness.

One of the most critical and distinctive clinical features is hypersensitivity to neuroleptic and antiemetic medications that affect dopaminergic and cholinergic systems.[8] In the worst cases, a patient treated with these drugs could become catatonic, lose cognitive function and/or develop life-threatening muscle rigidity.


It seems now that Robin William's mental condition had degenerated even more than was previously reported and likely included hallucinations and cognitive impairment. Whether or not he was hallucinating in his final moments, it's likely his ability to reason was severely diminished which should render moot any remaining criticisms from the Rush Limbaugh's of the world.




posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 02:41 PM
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I was and still am a huge fan of Robin Williams. His death and the death of Rik Mayall hit me really hard. I had grown up watching all their shows and films so when they went (to soon) it felt like I had lost someone in the family (who I actually like). But if and this is a big if, the family knew about his condition why would they leave him alone? I remember a report saying he was at home on his own while his wife went somewhere, but if he had this and they must have known about it, why would they ever leave him on his own.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: Danny85

His wife revealed after his death that he'd recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Because of the overlap in symptoms, it appears that a lot of people receive an initial diagnosis of Parkinson's and then as additional symptoms manifest, the diagnosis is changed to LBD.

What the doctor interviewed on CNN said basically was that it would be readily apparent in an autopsy if he'd been suffering from LBD rather than Parkinson's so I'm assuming that his family was not aware of the full extent of his illness. There was even some talk about how some medications have certain side effects for people suffering from LBD including paranoia so I imagine it's possible that he was hallucinating and concealing it from his wife.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 03:16 PM
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It was reported that she went to bed in a different bedroom from him and so he was alone overnight and was only found when his secretary or aide came in the next morning.

It's very difficult for family to get a handle on diseases like this; you tend to think of the patient as what they used to be, rather than what they are rapidly progressing to and Robin was a genius, there is no doubt about that. He could have hidden the worsening symptoms very effectively from everyone but himself. I can easily imagine even if you loved the man, not wanting to be around him 24/7, it would have been exhausting. He must have known and realized that if his symptoms were getting bad, they would only get worse from then on.

This is such a great loss to the world and his family, but I'm glad he isn't suffering anymore.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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Sad. Very sad.

But now I'm happy that this very rare, very obscure ailment has been given exposure due to a celebrity's death.

It's like we don't know what happens to people unless a famous face is attached to it. RIP but no thanks.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 03:44 PM
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a reply to: Yeahkeepwatchingme

It's not exceptionally rare apparently but I had never heard of it either. According to Wikipedia, there are about 1.3 million people with LBD in the US. It's what Casey Kasem had as well.
edit on 2014-11-11 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 03:46 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Well now most of us have heard about it. Thanks robin.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Nice until "re-involving" Rush Limbaugh...un-needed.

Rush has outlived many deceased commedians:
John Belushi, Richard Pryor, Phyllis Diller, and Robin Williams, and more I am sure.

Why is he outliving them?
No drugs and light alcohol is the key.
He may outlive you...your worst scenario.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Oh right. I must have misheard earlier news reports and what I read on TMZ and other sites (I know TMZ isn't that trustworthy) thanks for the correction.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: Granite

I'm not derailing my own thread going on about Rush. I'm sure despite his opiate use, he'll live a long life. After all, only the good die young right?
edit on 2014-11-11 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 06:29 PM
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I have read Hallucinations by Dr. Oliver Sachs--a book that explores things that cause hallucinations, from drugs to LBD--and I must say that I still don't condone Williams' suicide. It sends a message that it is better to give up versus suffering. One dies when one's purpose has been fulfilled. Who are we to decide when someone's purpose wears out? Maybe he should have been brave. Don't get me wrong, I understand why he did it and I'm not saying that I wouldn't have done the same. But something about killing yourself rubs me the wrong way.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:32 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

That's absolutely tragic. May this funny man rest in peace while spreading laughter on the other side.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:37 PM
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My father in law has it.

He muddled his words first, so he thought he was saying Birthday, and Bridgport would come out instead, and he think he said the word Birthday. Then the brain becomes more swiss cheese-like, and you ending up looking after a sweet baby like old man.

Poor Robin wanted to spare his family likely
He didn't realise they love him no matter what his brain is doing or how incapacitated he is.
edit on 11-11-2014 by zazzafrazz because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 10:25 PM
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I work with dementia patients and Lewy Body is the worst. I personally would rather be dead than live that way, although I would not take my own life.



posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

S&F Thank you for sharing this info with us. For someone famous for his lightening fast wit & improv skills, this must have been Hell. No wonder he killed himself. I hope he's in a better place now. Rest in peace, gentle jester.



posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I'm very glad you posted this information. I remember reading some very negative and judgmental comments about Robin WIlliams death here and I hope this information will cause those people to feel shame. We never know what a person is suffering until we are in their shoes. Never judge a person who decides to take their own life like that.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

That's exactly why I posted it. It seemed to me that quite a few people were unfairly passing judgement on the man and hopefully the new information will lead them to be more empathetic.



posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 02:25 PM
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I always felt that just having Parkinson's (which is a long, slow death sentence) was a key factor in his decision to check out.

Remember, he was 63 - not old, but his best, healthiest years were behind him.

I imagine the news of his diagnosis would have been as shattering as terminal cancer.

"You're going to die prematurely, but before that you will gradually lose your mental and physical faculties and become dependent on 24 hour nursing care."

I'd like to believe that I myself would have the courage to do the same as him, given that outlook.



posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 05:20 PM
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Between that and the herpes no wonder he was done. Also him knowingly giving women herpes erases any sympathy I may have had for him no matter how much he paid in settlements.



posted on Nov, 12 2014 @ 06:12 PM
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originally posted by: rukia
I have read Hallucinations by Dr. Oliver Sachs--a book that explores things that cause hallucinations, from drugs to LBD--and I must say that I still don't condone Williams' suicide. It sends a message that it is better to give up versus suffering. One dies when one's purpose has been fulfilled. Who are we to decide when someone's purpose wears out? Maybe he should have been brave. Don't get me wrong, I understand why he did it and I'm not saying that I wouldn't have done the same. But something about killing yourself rubs me the wrong way.


Sometimes it is better to give up than to keep suffering. We don't know the kinds of stresses that could keep piling up and instead of suicide, they snap and kill multiple people.

It can be hard for people to understand the thinking behind someone who wants to end their life, but having been in the state of mind, I understand it. Whether pain is physical or mental, I do understand why some people want the pain to stop.

That being said, sometimes people who commit suicide are using a permanent solution to a temporary problem.




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