Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, known as FTD, his family announced Thursday.
The actor’s family first announced that he was diagnosed with aphasia in spring 2022.
“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” the statement said. “Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
The official statement, which was shared on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website, added that FTD is a “cruel disease.”
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“For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know,” the Willis and Moore families said. “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.”
FTD currently has no cure, according to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
“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 families said in the statement.
The Willis family ended by directing those with FTD to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website for support and encouraged others to learn about the disease.
Willis’ family announced last year that the actor was diagnosed with aphasia and said that he would be “stepping away” from his career. The disorder affects a person’s ability to speak or comprehend language, according to the National Institutes of Health. Aphasia can have different causes such as stroke or head injury; in some cases, it is a form of dementia.
According to the NIH, treatment for aphasia includes therapy. Researchers are also exploring drug therapy to treat aphasia too, the NIH said.
“I have so much respect, love and admiration for that man,” his wife, Emma Heming said in an Instagram post last year following the news of her husband’s diagnosis.
“I love him so much it hurts,” she added in a follow-up message in her Instagram story.