The actor’s illness has worsened to frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, according to Bruce Willis’ family.
In a joint statement released on Thursday through the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration organization, Bruce’s wife Emma, ex-wife Demi Moore, and kids Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn discussed the recent diagnosis they referred to as “a horrible disease.”
The family released a statement saying, “We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and concern for Bruce over the past ten months. “We are incredibly appreciative of your great generosity of spirit. We wanted to offer you an update out of respect for your kindness and because we know you love Bruce just as much as we do.
The Alzheimer’s Association defines FTD as “a spectrum of illnesses brought on by progressive nerve cell death in either the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain” (the regions behind your ears). The organization adds that FTD-related nerve cell destruction can result in “loss of function in various brain regions, which variably produce impairment in behavior, personality, and/or trouble with producing or interpreting language,” among other effects.
“Since we disclosed Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s health has worsened, and we now have a more precise diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia,” the statement read (known as FTD). Unfortunately, Bruce’s communication problems are only one sign of his illness. Although unpleasant, it is a comfort to receive a definitive diagnosis at last.
The statement continued, “FTD is a horrible disease that many of us have never heard of and can hit anyone.” “FTD is the most prevalent form of dementia in those under 60, and because diagnosis can take years, FTD is probably considerably more widespread than we realize. There are now no cures for the illness, but we hope that will change in the years to come. We hope that any media coverage may be directed toward bringing awareness to this disease, which requires a great deal more study and awareness as Bruce’s health worsens.
Willis “always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about significant issues both publicly and personally,” according to the family. We have no doubt that, if he were still alive, he would wish to respond by bringing this crippling condition to the attention of the world and fostering a sense of community among those who are also affected by it and the families it affects.
“Bruce has always found joy in life — and has helped everyone he knows to do the same,” the family said in closing. Seeing that feeling of concern returned to him and to all of us has meant the world. The love you have all shown for our loving husband, father, and friend during this trying time has deeply touched us. We’ll be able to assist Bruce in leading the most fulfilling life possible with your continuing compassion, understanding, and respect.
The actor’s family made the announcement that he would no longer be acting in March 2022 after learning that he had aphasia, which was “impacting his cognitive ability.”
Aphasia is “a disorder that robs you of the ability to communicate,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Your capacity for verbal and written communication—speaking, writing, and understanding—can be impacted.
The actor has “been battling for quite some time,” according to a source who spoke to ET at the time.
Bruce has been having trouble for a while. Although he has made an effort to keep his health issues hidden, they started becoming worse last year. He created a strategy to make as many movies as he could and advance his profession as much as he could in order to support his family after retirement.
Emma shared some of the ways she was coping with her sadness on National Grief Awareness Day after receiving the aphasia diagnosis.
Emma captioned a video of herself gardening, staining wood, shadowboxing, riding a bike, playing tennis, and more, “This was the summer of self discovery—finding new hobbies, going outside of my comfort zone, and staying active.” Although my grief sometimes be crippling, I’m learning to live with it.