The ace US actor, Bruce Willis, has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, a disease that causes nerve cell loss.
Rumer Willis, the actor’s wife, in a statement shared via her Instagram handle on Thursday evening, revealed his health condition.
Frontotemporal dementia is a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes.
The first symptoms include unusual or antisocial behavior as well as loss of speech or language.
In later stages, patients develop movement disorders such as unsteadiness, rigidity, slowness, twitches, muscle weakness, or difficulty swallowing.
Rumer said the family has been able to discover the true nature of the actor’s disease after he was diagnosed with aphasia last year.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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.”
In the statement, the family added that Bruce would have also wanted to also raise awareness of the disease if he was able to.
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. 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 family added.
“Ours is just one family with a loved one who suffers from FTD, and we encourage others facing it to seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD (@theaftd, theaftd.org).
The family further appreciated people who have been showing support for the actor since his diagnosis.
“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.”
In March 2022, Bruce announced his retirement from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate effectively.