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Robin Williams had Parkinson's, says wife

Robin Williams had Parkinson's, says wife
15th August 2014

Robin Williams had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) before he took his own life, reports have revealed.

The famous Hollywood actor had only told those closest to him that he was in the early stages of the condition.

Mr Williams' third wife, Susan Schneider, described his "brave" fight against the disorder in an emotional statement on Thursday night.

"Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of PD, which he was not yet ready to share publicly," she said.

She stated that, following her husband's death, she hoped others would be able to find the strength and support to deal with "the battles they are facing". 

Ms Schneider added that Mr Williams had spent a lot of his life helping others and the joy and happiness he spread was his greatest legacy.

A close friend of the actor told The Telegraph he had found it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that he was losing his "senses and ability".

He added that Mr Williams was an active man who exercised a great deal and he was concerned about the impact PD would have on his fitness as well as his Hollywood career.

The actor passed away at his home in Paradise Cay, California on August 11th. Upon learning the news, fellow actor Michael J Fox, who also has the condition, tweeted he was "Stunned to learn Robin had PD. Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace."

Mr Fox's charity, The Michael J Fox Foundation, recently teamed up with Intel to develop wearable technology that could be used to monitor symptoms of Parkinson's.

Big Data Analytics is being harnessed to detect symptoms such as slowness of movement, tremor and sleep quality. This could be combined with information derived from advanced genomics and proteomics techniques to build a better picture of the clinical progression of the neurological condition.
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