Michael J. Fox Reacts to Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s Disease

The world is reeling from Robin Williams’ death, and many celebrities have taken time to commemorate the hilarious comedian and his ability to touch so many lives, and one celebrity can really relate to Williams’ state of mind. When Williams’ late wife stepped forward after his death to announce that he was beginning a battle with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, actor Michael J. Fox was shocked.

Fox has been battling Parkinson’s very publicly since 1991. The neurodegenerative disorder has affected his life for more than 20 years, and he came forward to admit that it’s a difficult diagnosis, and with someone already suffering from depression, it’s a bad combination.

“Stunned to learn Robin had PD. Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis. A true friend, I wish him peace,” Fox tweeted when he learned of Williams’ wife’s announcement. Williams’ has been a big supporter of Fox’s foundation for many years, and Fox had no idea his friend and fellow actor suffered from the same disease.

Fox has been outspoken regarding the fact that he was forced to turn to AA to help him cope with his own diagnosis. He turned to alcohol to numb the pain of his disease, and it took many years for him to realize that was not the answer. The news comes on the heels of a scientific study that has linked Parkinson’s to increased risk for depression, which became a deadly combination for Williams’.

The actor has struggled for years with depression, and to have this diagnosis come into his life was devastating. According to University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neuroestorations professor, Dr. Michael S. Okun, “In Parkinson’s, you get a lot of degeneration in brain circuitry, dopamine, serotonin and epinephrine. When you start to take away some of those chemicals that help keep the balance from depression, you could expect…that the depression would be worse in scenarios where it’s contributing to a pre-existing problem.”

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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