Many people had a lot to say about Robin Williams after he passed away in August 2014 at the age of 63. There was the usual speculation as to why a trendy and seemingly healthy Hollywood actor would commit suicide. Some claimed that he was sad or had relapsed into old habits. But when his autopsy came out, it revealed something that answered his grieving widow. What was it?
Robin Williams’ autopsy found that he had around 40% loss of dopamine neurons and that nearly no neurons were devoid of Lewy bodies across his whole brain and brainstem from Lewy Body Disease (LBD)
What Caused Robin Williams’ Death?
Robin Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three months before his death in 2014. Susan Schneider Williams, his wife, and his three children were the first to hear the news from his two previous marriages. His loved ones agreed to keep his health hidden for the time being since he wasn’t ready to share the diagnosis with the world yet.
Meanwhile, Robin Williams was puzzled about why he was feeling paranoid, worried, and unhappy. He didn’t think the Parkinson’s diagnosis described those concerns well enough. As a result, he and his wife decided to visit a neurocognitive testing center to discover if there was anything else wrong. But, unfortunately, he’d never make it there.
On August 11, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead by his assistant. Discovered in a seated position on the floor, he had used a belt to hang himself. His wife had left the house, thinking that her husband was asleep. Police later noticed superficial cuts on his left wrist. (Source: All That’s Interesting)
What Did Robin Williams Suffer From?
According to his autopsy report, Robin Williams has Lewy body dementia, a terrible and chronic brain condition that resembles both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Lewy bodies refer to aberrant protein clumps that collect in the patient’s brain cells and permeate the brain. These aggregates are thought to be responsible for up to 15% of all dementia cases.
The condition significantly influences sleep, behavior, mobility, cognition, and bodily control. It had taken a toll on Williams as well.
Unfortunately, no one understood what disease Robin Williams was suffering from until he died. This meant that a brilliant man was suffering from something he couldn’t begin to comprehend, which explains why he was so irritated while trying to figure out what was wrong with him.
(Source: All That’s Interesting)
What Led to Robin Williams’ Suicide?
It was not depression that killed Robin as Susan Schneider Williams remarked in response to reports that he committed suicide because he was depressed. Depression was only one among, maybe, 50 symptoms, and it was a minor one.
Susan Schneider Williams blamed her loving husband’s death on the awful disease that he didn’t even know he had after further study on Lewy body dementia and meeting with multiple experts.
While Robin Williams never disclosed what ailment he was suffering from, his widow was relieved that she could finally put a name to it. She has made it her duty to learn everything she can about the condition, educate those who may be unaware, and clarify any misconceptions about what caused her husband’s death. (Source: All That’s Interesting)