Bruce Willis, the Hollywood actor, has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, according to a statement released by his family on Thursday. The diagnosis comes nearly a year after the actor retired from acting due to aphasia, which impeded his cognitive abilities. The family’s statement was posted on The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website and revealed that Bruce’s condition had progressed since his aphasia diagnosis in spring 2022.
Frontotemporal dementia is a disease that causes progressive nerve cell loss in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain. Unfortunately, there are currently no known treatments for this condition, and the challenges with communication are just one symptom that Bruce faces.
The family of the 67-year-old actor hopes that his diagnosis will bring more attention to the battle against FTD. They have also expressed their belief that if Bruce were able to, he would use his voice to raise awareness about dementia and how to help others who are living with the condition.
Many people in the entertainment industry have offered their support to the family and expressed their admiration for the actor. Maria Shriver, a journalist, thanked Bruce for shining a much-needed light on this disease, saying that “When people step forward, it helps all of us.” Aaron Paul, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, posted a message of support to Rumer Willis, the actor’s daughter, on Instagram.
Bruce Willis rose to fame in the 1980s comedy-drama TV series “Moonlighting” and has appeared in about 100 films over his four-decade career. He has received critical acclaim for his roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “The Sixth Sense” and won a Golden Globe Award and two Emmys. However, he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the tough-as-nails New York cop in the five “Die Hard” movies, which were released from 1988 to 2013.
The family hopes that any media attention will be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research as Bruce’s condition progresses.
What is frontotemporal dementia?
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a type of dementia that primarily affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These regions are responsible for controlling language, behavior, and personality. FTD is caused by the progressive loss of nerve cells in these brain areas, leading to a decline in cognitive abilities and behavioral changes. The symptoms of FTD can vary widely, but often include changes in personality and social behavior, difficulty with language, and impaired judgment and decision-making. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, which primarily affects memory, FTD is more likely to affect behavior and emotions. FTD is a relatively rare form of dementia, accounting for about 5-10% of all dementia cases. There is no cure for FTD, and treatments are primarily focused on managing symptoms and providing support for affected individuals and their families.