Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with a condition for which there is currently no cure, his family has revealed.
The 67-year-old retired from acting about a year ago, citing a language disorder that had left him unable to communicate effectively. Willis rose to international fame with leading roles in movies such as ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Pulp Fiction.’
On Thursday, his family published a statement with the news that “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.”
The actor’s wife Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore as well as daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn, revealed that by now “challenges with communication” are just one of the hurdles Willis faces.
They also described the diagnosis as “painful,” noting, however, that they are at the same time relieved to have a clear picture of what is happening to their loved-one.
The family statement calls frontotemporal dementia (FTD) the “most common form of dementia for people younger than 60” and says it generally takes a long time to diagnose this “cruel disease.”
The actor would want to raise global awareness about the insidious condition if he could, it added.
According to the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration, “there are currently no disease-modifying treatments for FTD; there is no cure, and no way to prevent its onset.”
Doctors say the average life expectancy is between seven and 13 years after first symptoms present.
Persons with FTD will typically experience behavioral and personality changes as well as difficulty speaking and comprehending what others are saying, the association website explains.