Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia, Family Says
Bruce Willis’ family provided a medical update on the ailing actor on Thursday, revealing that he is suffering from frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
Nearly a year ago, Willis’ family announced that the Die Hard actor would be “stepping away” from his career after being diagnosed with aphasia, “which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” his family said in March 2022.
Eleven months later, Willis’ family posted a message both on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website and on social media to inform fans that doctors have determined that FTD was likely causing Willis’ aphasia.
“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” Willis’ family wrote.
“FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know.”
The family added, “Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”
The family statement was signed by Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore, current wife, Emma, and all of his kids.
According to the AFTD website, “The progression of symptoms – in behavior, language, and/or movement – varies by individual, but FTD brings an inevitable decline in functioning. The length of progression varies from 2 to over 20 years. As the disease progresses, the person affected may experience increasing difficulty in planning or organizing activities. They may behave inappropriately in social or work settings, and have trouble communicating with others, or relating to loved ones.”
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration continued, “Over time, FTD predisposes an individual to physical complications such as pneumonia, infection, or injury from a fall. Average life expectancy is 7 to 13 years after the start of symptoms. The most common cause of death is pneumonia.” They added that there is currently no cure or treatment to stop or low the progression of FTD.
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” Willis’ family wrote. “We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”
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