July 28, 2021

What is Lewy body dementia, the disease Robin Williams’ widow called ‘the terrorist’ inside his brain?

Susan Schneider Williams, the widow of late comic and actor Robin Williams, once called Lewy body dementia “the terrorist inside my husband’s brain.”

While it afflicts more than one million Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it is regularly overshadowed by Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, often leading to misdiagnoses in patients with Lewy body dementia.

Media magnate Ted Turner, who announced his diagnosis in 2018, was mistakenly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, while Williams was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

In the wake of Williams’ death in 2014 and “Robin’s Wish,” the documentary about Williams’ last years, awareness of the disorder has spiked in recent years. But it’s a complicated, often misunderstood neurological disorder, requiring years of work with a neurologist to even get diagnosed. Here are some common questions about LBD, answered

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