The news that Bruce Willis has ‘irreversible’ dementia has devastated people all across the world. Willis, who was regarded as one of the most bankable performers in the 1980s and early 1990s, was the epitome of a Hollywood star.
Willis was once the greatest star in the film industry and had a large following because of his work on the popular TV programme Moonlighting and his role in the cult movie Die Hard.
The actor had gradually reduced the number of times he appeared in public, and in March 2022 he announced his retirement from performing when it came to light that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, which interfered with his “cognitive capacities.”
In less than a year, Willis’ family has now disclosed that the actor has been identified as having Frontotemporal dementia, which is an incurable form of dementia. In a statement sent by Willis’ family on Thursday, they expressed their relief at his accurate diagnosis.
Since we revealed Bruce’s aphasia diagnosis in the spring of 2022, his health has worsened, and we now know his disease is frontotemporal dementia, according to a statement.
The family statement stated that Bruce’s speech problems are simply one indication of his illness. “While this is difficult, it is a comfort to receive a definitive diagnosis at last. According to Bruce Willis’ relatives, he has dementia that is “untreatable.”
The statement went on to say that “there are currently no therapies for the condition, a fact that we hope can alter in the years to come.
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What is Frontotemporal dementia?
Frontotemporal dementia is a catch-all term for a variety of neurological conditions. Due to the nature of the sickness, the term was derived. The frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are often linked to personality, behaviour, and language, are most commonly affected by disorders.
A section of these lobes atrophy as a result of the illness, which can influence behaviour, cause personality changes, and even impair language skills.
The indications and symptoms differ from person to person, but in the majority of instances, a person with the disease is unable to react to the majority of ordinary things, and their behaviour is frequently regarded as improper in social situations.
Is the condition comparable to Alzheimer’s?
Frontotemporal dementia is frequently misdiagnosed, according to experts. Instead, mental intervention is recommended, if Alzheimer’s disease is identified. But, there is a distinction. Compared to Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia tends to strike younger people.
Frontotemporal dementia frequently manifests between the ages of 40 and 65, however, it can also advance later in life. The Mayo Clinic estimates that FTD accounts for 10% to 20% of dementia cases.
What signs are present?
Each person has a unique set of signs and symptoms that indicate they are dealing with this condition. Nonetheless, it is well recognised to deteriorate with time—typically years. People may have more than one cluster of symptom kinds, and clusters of symptom types frequently occur together.
It also causes behaviour modifications. A person may lose his sense of restraint and judgement and start acting in increasingly unsuitable social situations. Eating habits alter; one either eats too much or starts to like sweets and carbs.
Even inedible objects have a tendency to be put in the mouth. Moreover, a person exhibits difficulties in sentence construction, which aggravates language and speech issues. It can occasionally cause speech loss.
Also, a person could struggle to name items, recall word meanings, or even substitute a specific term for a more general one, like “it” for a pen.
Later on, it could also cause motor abnormalities that make it difficult for someone to move about. This condition manifests as muscle spasms, twitches, tremors, stiffness, trouble swallowing, and difficulty walking.
Frontotemporal dementia has a cause.
Frontotemporal dementia has been related to certain genetic alterations. Yet, there is no family history of dementia in more than half of those who acquire frontotemporal dementia.
Although there is currently no cure for the condition, it is thought that having a family history of dementia increases a person’s chance of acquiring frontotemporal dementia.