- Actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with incurable frontotemporal dementia.
- Willis had already been struggling with cognitive difficulties and announced his retirement from acting in March 2022 due to aphasia, a condition that affects speech and communication.
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with incurable dementia, according to a statement released by his family on Thursday. They revealed on Thursday that the 67-year-old actor, best known for his role in the “Die Hard” movies, has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, an incurable form of dementia that affects the brain regions responsible for behavior, personality, and language.
Willis had already been struggling with cognitive difficulties when he announced his retirement from acting in March 2022 due to aphasia, a condition that affects speech and communication. Unfortunately, his health has continued to deteriorate since then, leading to this more specific diagnosis.
The actor has been out of the public eye for several months, and his family’s statement has confirmed the reason for his absence. It’s a devastating turn of events for Willis and his loved ones, who are now faced with the difficult challenge of managing his condition.
According to the family statement, Bruce Willis is facing a range of symptoms related to frontotemporal dementia, not limited to communication difficulties. The statement expressed relief that they now have a clear diagnosis, even though it’s a painful reality.
The family acknowledged the lack of available treatments for the disease and expressed hope for change in the future. As of now, there are no effective medical interventions available for frontotemporal dementia, and managing the symptoms is the main approach.
Medical experts have explained that patients with frontotemporal dementia experience shrinkage in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which can lead to severe personality changes and a loss of cognitive abilities. It’s a challenging condition to manage, and Willis and his family face an uncertain road ahead.
The underlying cause of frontotemporal dementia is still unknown, but it can result in a wide range of symptoms, including changes in personality or behavior, making someone appear socially inappropriate, impulsive, or indifferent to others’ feelings. For some patients, it can also cause a complete loss of language skills.
FTD typically develops in individuals aged 40 to 65 and accounts for up to one-fifth of all dementia cases, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition can be particularly challenging to manage as it affects regions of the brain responsible for key cognitive functions, and there are currently no treatments available that can stop or slow its progression.
The actor’s children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn, as well as his current wife, actress Demi Moore, all signed the family statement, which said that Willis had always fought to spread awareness about important issues.
The statement read, “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.”
Throughout the 1980s, Willis has been a fixture on both the small and big screens. He first earned recognition in the TV series “Moonlighting.”
Even so, he rose to prominence in the film industry as the rugged hero John McClane in “Die Hard,” which launched a career that has brought in billions of dollars at the box office.
Despite his reputation as a rough guy, he has also found success in family-friendly films and performed the baby’s voice in the hit animated film “Look Who’s Talking.”
His portrayal of the dead person who young actor Haley Joel Osment could see in “The Sixth Sense” is another of his most well-known roles.