Bruce Willis diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, family says
'There are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead,' family writes
Bruce Willis has dementia, his family announced on social media Thursday.
The actor, well known for his roles in action vehicle Die Hard, as well as Sixth Sense, Pulp Fiction and Unbreakable, stepped away from acting in 2022 due to aphasia symptoms. That condition, which causes loss of the ability to understand or express speech, is a symptom of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), actor and ex-wife Demi Moore shared on Instagram.
FTD refers to a group of disorders affecting nerve cells in the brain's frontal and temporal lobes. It can impact personality, behaviour and the ability to understand communication and to use language.
In a statement, Willis's family revealed those are just some of the issues he is struggling with due to the disorder's progression.
"FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone," the statement reads.
"Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead.
"We know in our hearts that — if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families."
Though he has not acted in the past year, Willis was working prolifically even months before, with more than 10 film roles in 2022 alone.
His film Detective Knight: Independence was released this year, while the film Assassin — which he appears in — is scheduled to be released in March.