Bruce Willis’s family announced on social media that his prior diagnosis of aphasia had progressed into frontotemporal dementia. In their statement, the family says, “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.”
The family decided to release their full statement on The Association for Frontotemporal Dementia’s website. The statement also included some information on the disease.
“FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. …Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”
The Association for Frontotemporal Dementia’s website states that “AFTD’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people affected by FTD and drive research to a cure.” The organization was founded in 2002 by Helen-Ann Comstock after caring for her late husband who had the disease.
If someone is seeking a diagnosis for the disease the website says “FTD is understood to be the most common cause of dementia for people under 60 (Knopman et al., 2011). However, it is frequently misdiagnosed, and many individuals with FTD are never given an accurate diagnosis. While genetic testing cannot by itself diagnose FTD, it can be used—along with an assessment of clinical symptoms, imaging, and other assessments—to help determine if someone has FTD or another cause for their symptoms.”
Bruce Willis’s family ends their statement by saying “Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. 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. -Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn”