Robin Williams’ suicide may have been triggered by a devastating form of dementia that may have affected his normal brain function.
Court documents reveal that Williams, who was found dead and hanging from a belt at his home in California last August, was suffering from dementia with Lewy bodies.
Sources connected with Robin’s family believe the degenerative disease was the “key factor” they believe drove him to take his own life.
Hallucinations and delusions are common among those affected by Lewy bodies dementia, with sufferers often struggling to identify friends and family.
The condition itself is caused by the build-up of protein into clumps, called Lewy bodies, in the brain. They damage nerve cells in the memory and thinking part of the brain.
Some people with dementia with Lewy bodies will also experience movement symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson’s disease.
On Friday, authorities formally ruled the star’s death as suicide as it was revealed he was struggling with a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease as well as anxiety, depression and paranoia.
Robin, who had battled alcohol and drug abuse in the past, had four prescription drugs in his system at his time of death. Toxicology reports found two anti-depressants and two caffeine compounds. There was no alcohol in his system.
Investigators found a closed bottle of Seroquel, a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and depression. It was prescribed a week before he died.
Williams had been suffering from paranoia, giving several watches in a sock to someone the night before he died for safe keeping.
The last outgoing call from Robin’s phone was at 7:08 pm the night before he died. He had called his wife Susan because he was picking up magazines for her at a bookstore.
Susan said he seemed well and had taken his iPad from their closet which she took to be a good sign because he hadn’t watched TV or read anything in about six months.
Several tabs on his web browser were open to websites discussing medications, including Lyrica, an anti-seizure drug, and propranolol, which treats blood pressure and tremors.
Robin and Susan had been sleeping in separate bedrooms because Robin was having trouble sleeping and would talk loudly in his sleep.
The last time she saw him was around 10:30 pm on Sunday night and said he seemed “excited”.
Robin had reportedly experienced Parkinson’s symptoms since 2011. He had a tremor in his left arm and movement in his left hand had slowed.
He had recently started taking Levodopa to treat the symptoms.
This is so sad.
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