Robin Williams' Wife Reveals The Disease That Killed Him

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Robin Williams revealed to have suffered from Lewy body dementia, or LBD

The Short of It:

Two years after the death of Academy Award winner Robin Williams, his wife has penned a highly intimate essay that looks into the painful struggle the actor dealt with in the months leading up to his death in 2014.

The Longer Version of It:

The essay, titled "The terrorist inside my husband's brain," was published last Tuesday by a neurology journal and was written bySusan Schneider Williams, Robin Williams' wife. The artist wrote at length about the months leading up to her her husband's death where he battled with a disease he was not aware he had, causing his mind deteriorate and later his committed suicide.

"Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it. Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating?" Williams wrote in the essay. "And not from something he would ever know the name of, or understand? Neither he, nor anyone could stop it — no amount of intelligence or love could hold it back."

The essay reveals that Robin Williams suffered from Lewy body dementia, or LBD. The brain disease affects more than a million Americans and is difficult for doctors to diagnosis. Over time the disease damages brain cells, creates to memory loss, delusions, hallucinations and symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. It was not until after the actor's death that his family discovered what had been ailing him.

The Takeaway:

The essay brings awareness to a disease that few know about and many unknowingly struggle with. Schneider Williams, who was appointed to the American Brain Foundation's board of directors last week, said she had written the essay to increase neurologists' understanding of patients and caregivers who battle the disease, but also in an effort to "add a few more faces" to the purposes they carryout their research.