Bruce Willis' aphasia diagnosis has progressed to frontotemporal dementia, his family says

ByAlli Rosenbloom, CNNWire
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Bruce Willis' aphasia diagnosis has progressed to dementia, family says
Bruce Willis' diagnosis of aphasia has progressed to frontotemporal dementia, known as FTD, his family announced.

The family of Bruce Willis has announced the actor is suffering from a form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia, or FTD for short.

In a statement shared Thursday, his family stated that while the news "is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."

"Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce's condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research," the statement said.

Willis' family - including wife Emma Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and his daughters - first disclosed his diagnosis of aphasia back in 2022. They said at the time that Willis was suffering from a medical condition that was affecting his cognitive abilities and would be taking a break from acting.

"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately," his family's new statement said. "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."

According to the Mayo Clinic, frontotemporal dementia is an "umbrella term for a group of brain disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain are generally associated with personality, behavior and language."

Willis' most recent acting credit is "Detective Knight: Independence," which was released in January 2023 and is the third installment of the thriller film series "Detective Knight." He also has action movie "Assassin" slated for release next month.

Bruce Willis is suffering from a medical condition that is affecting his cognitive abilities and will be taking a break from acting, his family said in a statement.

Willis and Heming Willis share two daughters, Mabel and Evelyn. With Moore, he is father to daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.

Rumer Willis is currently expecting her first child with boyfriend Derek Richard Thomas.

"Bruce has always found joy in life -- and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us," the statement added. "We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible."

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