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Bruce Willis’s Family Announce He Has Frontotemporal Dementia

The actor’s family have just released a public statement updating his fans on his newest diagnosis.

Shutterstock / Celil Kirnapci

In a social media post, the family of actor Bruce Willis announced that he has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

On February 16, 2023, the family of American actor Bruce Willis released a public statement announcing that Willis’ previous diagnosis of Aphasia has turned to frontotemporal dementia.

They share in the statement:

As a family, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months. Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it. For your kindness, and because we know you love Bruce as much as we do, we wanted to give you an update.

Willis Family, AFTD.ORG

The statement is cosigned by members of Willis’ family, including his wife Emma Heming and their two daughters; and his ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters.

The actor was best known for his performances in Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, Pulp Fiction, as well as Breaking Bad and Moonlighting.

Willis has had a very successful career, being nominated for five Golden Globes and three Emmys – winning two.

The 67-year-old actor was diagnosed with aphasia last year. The diagnosis last year of a degenerative brain disease led Willis to announce he is terminating his acting career. The diagnosis of aphasia would foresee his inability to act due to limited cognitive abilities.

However, since then, the new frontotemporal dementia diagnosis statement that his family released has confirmed that he cannot return to acting anytime soon. The purpose of releasing this statement was to bring more awareness to this brain disease.

Dementia comes in multiple forms, but frontotemporal dementia is the most common type of dementia in adults under 60. It is very rare, as dementia tends to affect elder people.

So far, there is not any known cure for it. There is also no known way of slowing down the symptoms. However, it is known that it is caused by a build-up of toxic proteins in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. They are found behind the forehead and between the ears. This build-up of toxic proteins attacks brain cells and kills them.

When Willis was first diagnosed with aphasia, his ability to speak, plan, and his behavior was affected, which is why he chose to terminate his future acting plans.

Frontotemporal dementia also affects the ability to speak and creates restrictions on cognitive abilities and movement. It causes slow or stiff movements, loss of bladder or bowel control, and extreme muscle weakness. It is more uncommon than most forms of dementia.

On average, upon diagnosis, people can live up to 10 years with the condition.

Many actors have shared their messages of love to Willis following the publication of the statement by his family.

Aaron Paul, who co-starred with Willis in Breaking Bad, wrote, “such a damn legend, love you so much my friend!” on Demi Moore’s Instagram post.

Queen Latifah, the US singer, and actress, also commented, “God bless you my brother we love you!!!! all the best. Thank you and your family for all the entertainment!!!”

Co-star in Red, Brian Cox, said that Willis was a “witty and a great performer” and that he “was lovely. And he is lovely. He’s still there. He’s a lovely man.”

The light that the Willis family is shedding by making this news public will hopefully be an encouragement to invest in more attempts at finding the cure or finding ways to deal with the symptoms and prolong the life expectancy. Dementia is a disease that affects many in this world, and talking openly about these conditions helps those suffering from them feel less alone.

Read here which diseases we are close to curing than ever before.

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