For Robin Williams, Diagnosis Came Too Late

APRIL 19, 2016
Amy Jacob
MD Magazine: What is your current role with the American Brain Foundation?
 
SSW: I’m very interested in what the foundation does. In everything that I learned in the year of research I did after Robin left, it became very clear, the interconnectedness, amongst all the brain diseases. Because, when I was working with the pathologists, there was evidence of other diseases as well. I found out that Parkinson’s and LBD are on opposite sides of a disease spectrum, which means they are still related, because what they have in common is the Alpha-synuclein clumps. And you’re either going to be told you have Parkinson’s or Lew Body’s depending on which symptoms you present first.
 
With all that, it became very clear, there are no defined borders between these diseases. So, if they’re sharing issues and symptoms in common, can they share cures in common?
 
So, the American Brain Foundation is taking the overall brain approach.  And, that interested me. Obviously I want to help LBD very much, and, it’d be wrong if I weren’t interested in the whole brain as well. That’s why I appreciate what they’re doing, and I felt very honored to receive their award for commitment to cures and am interested in partnering with them where I can.
 
MD Magazine: Is the American Brain Foundation working on specific initiatives? What’s on the horizon?
 
SSW: The big thing the American Brain Foundation is interested in doing is connecting researchers and donors together to defeat brain disease. They’re very supportive of research, and are all about cures. These diseases are bigger than any of us, so the more that we can all rally together for open discussions the beneficial it is. He was a genius. And, people with LBD are aware that they’re disintegrating.
 
That’s the difference.

And because Robin was so brilliant, he was aware that there was something far worse going on. 


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