Robin Williams suffered from Lewy Body Dementia. Never heard of it? You're not alone. Most people haven't. I hadn't until my cousin was diagnosed with the disease that includes some of the symptoms of both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Doctors say the disease may have contributed to his decision to kill himself.

My Dad told me my cousin had something called Lewy Body Dementia and asked if I'd ever heard of it. I hadn't but, as is my nature, I immediately started researching it. What an incredibly cruel disease. It affects everything, from sleep to digestion to cognitive reasoning. Symptoms are varied, but can include loss of muscle function, tremors, memory lapse, hypersensitivity to medications, and vivid hallucinations.Those hallucinations often feature people or small creatures.

I was so surprised when I decided to check out Kelsey Grammer's series 'Boss' on Netflix. In the first few minutes of the very first episode, the Mayor of Chicago (played by Grammer) is getting his medical diagnosis. As the doctor lists the symptoms and effects of his 'brain disorder,' I realized it was LBD. I looked for that opening sequence on YouTube, but I couldn't find it. I did, however, find a PSA that Grammer recorded for LBD.

I thought of my cousin Wendall often as I watched the series. Grammer's character struggles with his memory, trembles when he tries to write, and has hallucinations that include people and a small creature who appears in his living room. Grammer's character talks to the little animal, telling it 'I know you're not here.'

ABC News reports that Robin Williams had been acting strangely before his suicide, keeping several watches in a sock and being very concerned about keeping the watches safe. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's but it's unclear if he knew he had LBD. Experts can't say whether his illness contributed to his decision to kill himself, but it's certainly a good opportunity to spread the word about a scary and horrible disease.