UNITED STATES: Bruce Willis, the 67-year-old actor known for his roles in blockbuster hits like Die Hard and The Fifth Element, has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, his family announced on Thursday.
The diagnosis comes nearly a year after his family announced that Bruce Willis would retire from acting due to a diagnosis of aphasia. This condition causes a loss of the ability to understand or express speech.
Bruce Willis’ family posted a statement on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website, saying that his “condition has progressed.”
The statement said that he now has a more specific diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia. Frontotemporal dementia is a brain disorder caused by degeneration of the brain’s frontal and/or temporal lobes. The frontal and temporal lobes affect behaviour, language, and movement.
The family’s statement described frontotemporal degeneration as a “cruel disease” that many people have never heard of and that can strike anyone.
According to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, the average life expectancy of people after the onset of symptoms of frontotemporal degeneration is seven to thirteen years.
Bruce Willis’ family, including his wife Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five children, called for more awareness and research into the disease, which they said can take years to get a proper diagnosis.
Over a four-decade career, Bruce Willis’ movies earned more than $5 billion at the worldwide box office. In recent years, he has primarily featured in direct-to-video thrillers.
News of Willis’ diagnosis has drawn an outpouring of support from fans and colleagues. Many have taken to social media to express their sadness and offer encouragement.
As Willis and his family face this difficult time, the world is coming together to show their support and raise awareness for frontotemporal dementia.
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