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Robin Williams' Shocking Parkinson's Diagnosis

Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains the link between depression and Parkinson's disease.
1:25 | 08/15/14

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Transcript for Robin Williams' Shocking Parkinson's Diagnosis
We'll turn to that surprising news about robin Williams of his whiff revealing he had Parkinson's disease releasing this statement. 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 Parkinson's which he was not yet ready to share publicly. Joining us, Dr. Jennifer Ashton. This must have been so hard to carry this. Now that we know this you were telling us there's an established link between Parkinson's and depression. Absolutely. No separate brain issues but there is an association. We know about 20% to 40% of Parkinson's patients suffer major depression and not just as a reaction to this tough diagnosis. The theory there is similar brain chemical changes in Parkinson's and depression. The dopamine. Exactly, that neurochemical. You were saying as soon as you see signs of this, there is early detection and new tests for this. Absolutely. It's very important to take a good history as it is with any medical condition and then brain imaging, brain scans, there's something called a D.A.T. Scan that looks for low levels of that neurotransmitter dopamine often used to diagnose it. We know he took his own life but want to give hope. Is there treatment out there is there absolutely there's treatment and you want to ideally incorporate the use of a neurologist with a psychiatrist and remain hopeful because there are effective treatments. Dr. Ashton, always great to have you. Thanks, Jen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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