What Is Lewy Body Dementia? Robin Williams’ Cause of Death

US actor Robin Williams smiles as he arr

Reports by TMZ have come out that the key factor in Robin Williams’ suicide was a disease called Lewy Body Dementia. TMZ reported:

Robin’s wife had told authorities shortly after his death he had been complaining about the meds and the way they made him feel. Sources connected with the Williams family tell TMZ … Lewy Body Dementia was the “key factor” they believe drove him to kill himself. We’re told Robin’s doctors agree that the disease was the critical factor leading to his suicide.

So, what is Lewy Body Dementia? According to LBDA.org: LBD is an umbrella term for two related diagnoses. LBD refers to both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. The brain chemical acetylcholine is depleted, causing disruption of perception, thinking and behavior. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it is currently widely underdiagnosed.

Reactions to medications for the disease vary per person. What one individual may not respond well to, could work perfectly for another. Williams may have suffered from hallucinations, which can be a side effect of the disease and its medications. Below are some of the most common symptoms of the disease:

Progressive dementia – deficits in attention and executive function are typical. Prominent memory impairment may not be evident in the early stages.

Fluctuating cognition with pronounced variations in attention and alertness.

Recurrent complex visual hallucinations, typically well formed and detailed.

Spontaneous features of parkinsonism.

For all the information you may need on the disease, visit LBDA.org.