What is Frontotemporal Dementia? Bruce Willis Diagnosed With 'Untreatable Dementia' Hampering Communication Skills

Die Hard star Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. Announcing the update, Willis ex-wife and actor Demi Moore said that Willis has received a clear diagnosis of FTD which means that "challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces."

Bruce Willis
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Willis Was Diagnosed with Aphasia in 2022

In an Instagram post, Moore wrote, "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."

"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," it read about the ailing 67-year-old.

It may be recalled that Willis was diagnosed with aphasia, a brain disorder that affects communication abilities, in Spring last year.

What is Frontotemporal Dementia?

Speaking to New York Post, Dr. Allison B. Reiss of the NYU Long Island School of Medicine said that FTD affects primarily the frontal and temporal areas of the brain.

"FTD is actually a group of brain disorders that cause progressive degeneration of the neurons in the brain and affects the frontal and temporal areas of the brain. It has a relatively young age of onset, most diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 64 years," said Reiss.

Speaking about the symptoms, Reiss said that the patients could exhibit emotional outbursts, poor manners and excessive familiarity with strangers, or go on to have muscular dysfunction. The expert further added that the symptoms of FTD include "changes in behavior, deterioration of personality, executive and social cognition. Also social disinhibition, apathy, reduced sympathy and empathy, poor judgment, altered food preferences, and repetitive behavior."

Adding that it severely hampers the communication and listening comprehension skills, Reiss said, "Over time, they lose the meaning of words and lose the ability to remember what a familiar object is or how to use it. They may substitute close words or replace a word they have lost with 'that thing' or 'the you know.'