A new report suggests that a devastating disease — along with the medications used to control his medical condition — may have played a critical role in pushing comedian and actor Robin Williams to suicide.
TMZ.com reports that Williams, who died Aug. 11 at his home in Paradise Cay, Calif., suffered from Lewy body dementia, according to sources close to his family.
Lewy body dementia, which was also cited in the death earlier this year of radio icon Casey Kasem, is marked by abnormal protein deposits in the brain that interfere with normal brain function, the story notes.
“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,” the article reports.
Williams’ wife reported soon after his death that he had been complaining about how his medications made him feel, the story notes, adding that the actor’s doctors reportedly agree that the illness was a factor that led to his suicide.