The family of legendary film star Bruce Willis announced on Thursday that the actor has officially been diagnosed with dementia following his retirement last spring. An initial diagnosis of aphasia abruptly ended a storied career that spanned decades and generated numerous hit films. In a statement, those closest to the 67-year-old said his condition has worsened into frontotemporal dementia.
“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces,” the family said. The statement called FTD “a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone.” “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 statement 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.” The family noted that Willis always hoped to use his voice and influence to raise awareness about issues that concerned him. “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,” his family stated. “Bruce has always found joy in life — and has helped everyone he knows to do the same,” they concluded. “It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time.” Willis’ family asked for “continued compassion” as they hope he is able to live “as full a life as possible.” According to the Alzheimer’s Association, FTP “refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind your forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind your ears).” The progressive disease eventually robs its victims of the ability to communicate thoughts and understand spoken words. The disease is inherited in about a third of cases. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.View this post on Instagram