- Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, his family has announced.
- The action film superstar retired from acting last year after being diagnosed with aphasia.
- Frontotemporal dementia is a “cruel disease” and the most common form of dementia in people under 60, the Willis family said.
Almost a year after Bruce Willis announced he was retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, the action superstar’s family announced Thursday that he has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
“Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, communication difficulties are just a symptom of the illness Bruce is facing,” the family’s statement, published on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website, said.
The “cruel disease” can “affect anyone,” the family said, adding that “FTD is the most common form of dementia for people under the age of 60, and given that it can take years to diagnose, FTD is likely a lot.” more often than we know.”
According to the statement, there are no current treatments for the disease.
The condition can cause behavior and personality changes, as well as language problems
Frontotemporal dementia refers to a group of disorders that affect areas of the brain behind the forehead (frontal lobes) and behind the ears (temporal lobes), according to the Mayo Clinic. It occurs at a younger age than other types of dementia, often between the ages of 40 and 60, and is the most common form of dementia in people under the age of 60.
It occurs when nerve cell damage begins to cause problems in the parts of the brain that regulate language, behavior, and personality. Symptoms can vary, according to the Mayo Clinic. For example, a person may have trouble understanding words, may begin to act impulsively, or have extreme personality changes. Patients can also have a lack of interest in normal activity, which is sometimes misdiagnosed as depression.
Frontotemporal dementia can have signs similar to Alzheimer’s, including memory loss, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. However, there are key differences. Behavioral changes can be an early warning sign of frontotemporal dementia, but they don’t show up in Alzheimer’s patients until later stages of the disease.
The condition is degenerative, and while some symptoms can be managed with medication and other types of care, it increases the risk of disease, injury, and infection, according to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
The Willis family vows to raise awareness of this condition
Bruce Willis’ family statement thanked the “outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months.”
“Your generosity has been overwhelming and we are so grateful to you. For your kindness, and because we know you love Bruce as much as we do, we wanted to give you an update,” the Willis family said.
“Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of caring return to him and to all of us,” read the statement, signed by Emma, Demi. Said Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.
It added: “Bruce has always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and raise awareness of important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that if he could today, he would want to respond by giving global attention and a connection to those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it is affecting so many people and their families.”