Bruce Willis Diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia a Year After Aphasia Announcement

"While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis," the Willis family said in a statement.
Bruce Willis at the 57th New York Film Festival
Bruce Willis at the 57th New York Film Festival

One year after his family announced the news of his struggle with aphasia, Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

Willis’ wife Emma Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore, as well as daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn Willis, shared the news in a joint statement (via Entertainment Tonight).

“As a family, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months,” the statement reads. “Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it. For your kindness, and because we know you love Bruce as much as we do, we wanted to give you an update.”

The statement continued: “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 Willis family added: “FTD is 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. 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.”

Willis’ aphasia diagnosis was shared in March 2022, along with the news that he would be retiring from acting.

“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” Rumer Willis wrote in the statement. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

The statement read at the time, “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him.”

John Travolta, M. Night Shyamalan, Haley Joel Osment, and Sylvester Stallone were among the former Willis collaborators who shared tributes to the “Die Hard” and “Sixth Sense” icon.

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