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Parkinson’s Disease: 5 Things To Know About Robin Williams’ Scary Diagnosis

Fri, August 15, 2014 2:44pm EDT by 5 Comments

After Robin Williams’ shocking death on August 11, his wife, Susan Schneider, revealed that the actor had been in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease before his passing.

Robin Williams wife, Susan Schneider, revealed that the fallen actor who tragically passed away at the age of 63 on Aug. 11, was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Read below for five fast facts about the disease.

Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s Disease

As we previously reported, the fallen actor had been battling depression, but after his death, his wife announced that he was suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Here are five facts about the disease that affects over 10 million worldwide.

1. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Parkinson’s disease is described as, “a chronic disorder that worsens over time and results in the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical messenger that controls movement. Parkinson’s disease usually affects people over age 50.”

2. The site says that the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include: Slowness of movement, impaired balance and coordination, and, shaking in the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face.

3. Forbes reports that there is no single test to detect for Parkinson’s. The site also says that older men are at a higher risk of developing the disease. “Older men like Williams are at an elevated risk for the disease, but about 10% of patients suffer from young-onset Parkinson’s, which means they were diagnosed before they were 40 years-old.”

4. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there are treatments that are available. These include physical therapy, surgery and even certain medications that can improve the quality of life.

5. The NIMH reports that, “for people with depression and Parkinson’s disease, each illness can make symptoms of the other worse.Compared with people who are depressed but do not have Parkinson’s, people who have both illnesses may have lower rates of sadness and guilt, but greater problems with concentration.”

Michael J. Fox ‘Stunned’ By Robin Williams Parkinson’s News

The announcement that Robin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s came as a complete surprise to everyone, including his good friend, Michael J. Fox, 53.

Michael himself was famously diagnosed with the disease in 1991 and has been a huge advocate for raising awareness to the incurable disease with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Michael tweeted to his followers on Aug. 14, “Stunned to learn Robin had PD. Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace.”

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Robin’s family and friends during this difficult time.

— Caitlin Beck

More Robin Williams News:

  1. Robin Williams’ Close Friend Michael J. Fox ‘Stunned’ By Parkinson’s News
  2. Rush Limbaugh Slammed For Dissing Robin Williams After Suicide
  3. Robin Williams’ Wife Reveals He Had Parkinson’s Disease In New Statement