By peoplestaff225
Updated January 06, 2007 12:10 PM

Tragedy has struck songwriter Burt Bacharach, 78, and his ex-wife, actress Angie Dickinson, 75, as their only daughter Nikki Bacharach, 40, has committed suicide. A spokeswoman for the former couple said that, "She quietly and peacefully committed suicide to escape the ravages to her brain brought on by Asperger’s," at her home in Thousand Oaks on Thursday night. The coroner reports that she died of suffocation brought on by a plastic bag and helium. Nikki was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, after her premature birth in 1966. Her father has documented her suffering in his song "Nikki".

Asperger Syndrome is associated with lack of social interaction, presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests, peculiarities in speech and language, extensive logical patterns of thought, inappropriate social and emotional behavior, also impairment in areas of functioning as in clumsy and uncoordinated movements. Asperger is a form of autism, a neurological disease that can be treated and kept under control through various therapies, as well as medications. Children born with Asperger have a normal lifespan but they may suffer also from depression, mood disorders and OCD. More about Asperger Syndrome can be read here.

Source: Yahoo! News and ET

Thanks to CBB readers Lisa, Nicole, Marcia and Crystal.