What is Frontotemporal Dementia, Bruce Willis’ most recent diagnosis
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. The actor’s family took to social media to inform give his fans an update on his health condition.
My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family, & also my gratitude for shining a much needed light on this disease. When people step forward it helps all of us. When people get a diagnosis it’s extremely difficult, but also for most a relief to get a diagnosis. pic.twitter.com/macAukMe7U
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) February 16, 2023
What happened to Bruce Willis?
Earlier in 2022, Bruce Willis’ family announced that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that impedes a person’s ability to speak and write, which led him to step away from his acting career. Now, the family has revealed a more specific diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia.
Willis’ daughter Rumer Willis shared the news on Instagram. She explained the actor’s condition and thanked his fans and friends for their love and support. Explaining the symptoms of frontotemporal dementia, she added in the caption, “Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces.”
A huge name in Hollywood, Willis has been a part of many iconic movies such as the Die Hard franchise, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, Last Man Standing, The Fifth Element, Sunset, The Sixth Sense, Mortal Thoughts and Armageddon. He has been nominated for four Golden Globes, including winning one for the TV series Moonlighting in 1987. He has also been nominated for Emmys, of which he has won two. While one of those wins was for Moonlighting, the other was for his guest appearance in Friends.
Bruce Willis’ diagnosis: What is frontotemporal dementia?
According to Hopkins Medicine, frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a common cause of dementia. It is a group of disorders that occur when the nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain start breaking down, causing the lobes to shrink.
It is one of the most common forms of dementia with symptoms usually manifesting between the ages of 40 and 65. FTD can strike young adults as well as older people and affects men and women equally. This dementia is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, which means that it gets worse over time and can eventually lead to significant impairment in daily functioning.
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The symptoms of frontotemporal dementia include changes in personality, behaviour and social skills, difficulty with language, including speaking, understanding, reading and writing, trouble with judgment and decision-making abilities, loss of empathy and social awareness and repetitive behaviours or compulsions. This type of dementia can also affect one’s movement.
Currently, there is no cure for FTD. A few treatments might help manage symptoms, which can lead to improved life quality. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as exercising and a healthy diet might be helpful in some cases.
(Hero and feature image credits: Courtesy Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore and Instagram/@BruceWillisBW)
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