More bad news for Hollywood legend Bruce Willis. Willis was diagnosed in March with a rare brain condition called aphasia that causes an inability to understand and respond to verbal cues and communication. Willis promptly retired from Hollywood to spend more time with his family. His condition has progressed, and the family has issued a statement updating his condition and official diagnosis. Fox news reports:
Bruce Willis’ condition “has progressed” and the “Die Hard” actor has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, according to his family. The news comes after they previously revealed his aphasia diagnosis in 2022.
The 67-year-old actor’s ex-wife, Demi Moore, revealed his new health diagnosis on Instagram with a heartfelt post.
“Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis,” Moore wrote. “In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.”
Bruce Willis' Diagnosis of Aphasia Progresses, Diagnosed with Dementia https://t.co/pYvE53RUAP
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 16, 2023
Frontotemporal dementia is characterized by unusual behavior, trouble walking and talking, communication problems and occasional emotional outbursts. It is a result of a previous brain injury and usually isn’t detected until years after the actual injury. there is currently no treatment available, making it even more difficult for Willis and his family. Fox continued:
“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.”
FTD is “the result of damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain,” according to the National Institute on Aging. “Many possible symptoms can result, including unusual behaviors, emotional problems, trouble communicating, difficulty with work, or difficulty with walking.”
“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. Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead,” the release said.
Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore have remained close friends, and they have three children together, and a grandchild due later this year. It’s a sad end to a career that spanned over four decades. Such blockbusters as Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, The Sixth Sense and the numerous Die Hard sequels are among the more than one hundred movie and television credits that Willis racked up during his career, including 53 award nominations and 22 wins.
Willis shot to fame in the 80’s opposite Cybil Shepard in the romantic comedy “Moonlighting”. Bruce Willis is also one of the rare Hollywood stars that used his fame for good works and causes as opposed to pushing political narratives. Fox concluded:
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. 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.”
The Willis family encouraged others facing FTD to “seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD” and encouraged others to continue advocating for research and awareness.
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