Son Zach Says Robin Williams Was Disappointed With Misdiagnosis


  • Robin Williams committed suicide in 2014, and an autopsy later revealed that he had a form of dementia.
  • But two years before his death, Williams was mistakenly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Williams’ son, Zach, said that due to the misdiagnosis, his father “felt very uncomfortable” and “upset.”
  • Visit the Insider homepage to find out more.

Robin Williams’ son Zach spoke at length about the neurological disease and subsequent medical misdiagnosis that plagued his father’s last years in a frank interview. Max Lugavere “Brilliant Life” podcast.

Williams, who would have turned 70 on Wednesday, died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63. Williams had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years earlier. However, an autopsy performed after his death revealed that the legendary actor had been misdiagnosed and that he actually had Lewy body dementia or LBD, a form of progressive dementia.

LBD shares several debilitating symptoms with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of progressive dementia, including memory loss, hallucinations, and anxiety. Zack told The Genius Life podcast that in the last two years of Williams’ life, his father was frustrated with the consequences of his illness and his diagnosis.

“What he went through did not correspond to one [with] many patients with Parkinson’s disease experience. So I think it was tough for him, ”Zach said on the podcast. – He was upset by the problem of focusing, there were problems related to his well-being, and also from a neurological point of view, he did not feel well. He was very uncomfortable. “

Zelda Williams Robin Williams

Williams with her daughter Zelda Williams.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Zach believes that his father’s misdiagnosis “could have made the situation worse,” adding that the drugs used to treat Parkinson’s are “not a joke.”

“They are also very hard on the mind and body,” he said. “The diagnosis was different from the disease, so I think it might be a situation where you are taking medication and experiencing purely side effects. [the drug]… “

Currently no known cure for LBD or any cure this will slow down its development. Zack told the podcast that his father’s symptoms worsened two years before his death, which he says greatly affected Oscar-winning the ability to “do your craft”.


“I don’t want to say that it was a short period. It was much longer than it actually was, because for him it was a period of intense searching and disappointment, ”he said.

“I couldn’t help but feel above empathy. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed for him, ”Zak continued. “It can be truly isolating, even when you are with your family and loved ones.”

Robin Williams Zach Williams

Zach Williams is the eldest son of the late actor Robin Williams.

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

LBD is caused by protein clumps that build up in areas of the brain that are responsible for functions such as thinking, visual perception, and muscle movement. according to

Following Williams’ death in 2014, his widow Susan Schneider Williams wrote an essay for medical journal “Neurology” where she said that healthcare professionals who reviewed her husband’s medical records and brain scans over the past two years stated that Williams’ case was “one of the worst LBD pathologies they have seen” and that “no one else could do anything else.”

She wrote: “The massive spread of Lewy bodies throughout his brain caused so much damage to neurons and neurotransmitters that, in fact, you could say that there was a chemical war in his brain.”

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