Older folks suffer from dementia. That’s a fact of life. Just like the heart, lungs, and joints get old and rickety, so does the brain. Often this dementia is classified as senile dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But not rarely the loss of brain function is due to something you’ve probably never heard of – –Lewy Body Disease, or LBD. This form of dementia results from the accumulation of abnormal structures within the brain that are called Lewy Bodies. This accumulation interferes with brain function and lead to a host of symptoms including: problems with movement and balance, confusion, loss of memory, abnormal alertness, an alteration of attention span, and even hallucinations that at times are paranoid in nature. The disease is usually not diagnosed until after death when the brain can be examined but it is often suspected by the symptoms the person displays. It is often confused with the Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Lewy Bodies in the Brain
It turns out that Robin Williams suffered from LBD. In a wonderfully written article “The Terrorist Inside My Husband’s Brain” on neurology.org, Susan Schneider Williams tells of her husband’s ordeal. It is a look inside this terrible disease and what happened to one of the greatest comedians that ever lived.
The Terrorist Inside My Husband’s Head: http://www.neurology.org/content/87/13/1308.full
Medline Plus: https://medlineplus.gov/lewybodydisease.html#cat92
Lewy Body Disease Association: https://www.lbda.org/content/symptoms