Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia

Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia

After announcing that he would be retiring from acting last year following his aphasia diagnosis, Bruce Willis' family has announced that his condition has developed into frontotemporal dementia.

Ex-wife Demi Moore and current wife Elizabeth Heming Willis gave an update on the actor's condition via a joint statement on Instagram. "Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis. In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing," the statement explains.

"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). 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 most common form of dementia for people under 60, FTD is a condition that, as the name suggests, affects the frontal and temporal lobes which are the areas of the brain responsible for controlling personality, behavior, language and movement. This keeps in line with the Die Hard actor's initial aphasia diagnosis, which according to the Mayo Clinic, impacts a person's ability to speak, write and understand both written and verbal language. Currently, there are no known treatments for the disease, but the family hopes that by bringing awareness and media attention to FTD that might change in the future.

"Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately.," the family wrote in their full statement. "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."

The statement goes on to end on a hopeful note: "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. 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."

Photo via Getty/ VCG