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Bruce Willis – what is he sick with? What is frontotemporal dementia?

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“We hope that as Bruce’s condition worsens, media attention will be focused on this disease, which requires much more knowledge and research,” Bruce Willis’ relatives wrote, announcing that the actor suffers from frontotemporal dementia. What causes the disease and how to recognize its symptoms?

Bruce Willis’s family said Thursday that the actor, who was previously diagnosed with aphasia, has worsened. According to a new diagnosis, the actor suffers from frontotemporal dementia. “Unfortunately, communication issues are just one of the symptoms of Bruce’s illness. While it’s painful, it’s a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.” – relatives said in a statement.

Bruce Willis retired from acting in 2022Stoianov / BACKGRID / Backgrid USA / Forum

As they went on to add, frontotemporal dementia is “a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can affect anyone. For those under 60, frontotemporal dementia is the most common form of dementia, and since diagnosis may take years, the disease is probably much more widespread than we think.”

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SEE ALSO: Bruce Willis retires. His family informs about the disease

Frontotemporal dementia. What causes this disease?

Frontotemporal dementia is a disease that results in atrophic changes in the frontal lobes and the frontal parts of the temporal lobes of the brain. “The most common form of frontotemporal dementia is the so-called behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia, less common are the so-called non-fluent progressive aphasia and semantic dementia” – enumerates the doctor. med. Karina Bartoszek on the Medycyna Praktyczna portal.

At the root of brain changes is the degeneration of nerve cells, which occurs due to the accumulation of an abnormal protein in them. The cause of the disease is not fully understood, but “most likely this protein is formed as a result of a genetic mutation” – noted Bartoszek.


Frontotemporal dementia is a disease that comes on slowly and its symptoms are often misinterpreted. According to the portal neuropsychologia.org, the most characteristic are changes in social behavior and the patient’s personality. They can appear years before cognitive impairment. “Patients act in an ill-considered manner, stop complying with social norms (which is associated with the loss of the ability to inhibit their behavior (…) As the disease progresses, apathy and shallowing of emotions and cognitive disorders appear” – we read on the portal.

The degeneration of nerve cells underlies the changes in the brainShutterstock

SEE ALSO: They shortened his dialogues, cast an understudy in scenes with guns. They knew Bruce Willis was sick, but he drew viewers

Difficulties in finding words, behavior and speech disorders are other ailments. Patients may behave “inadequately to the situation, be agitated, without a critical assessment of their own behavior” – emphasizes the doctor. med. Karina Bartoszek on the Medycyna Praktyczna website. He adds that “in the later period, problems with maintaining personal hygiene, overeating or stopping food intake and everyday behavior inappropriate to the situation come to the fore”, patients may also show suicidal tendencies and be prone to abuse alcohol or cigarettes, although they previously they were not dependent on them.

Frontotemporal dementia – treatment

Bruce Willis’s family said in a statement Thursday that there is currently no cure for frontotemporal dementia. “We hope that as Bruce’s condition worsens, media attention will be focused on looking at this disease that requires much more knowledge and research.” Bartoszek points out that there is no single effective treatment regimen for frontotemporal dementia. ‘Trazodone and serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually used,’ he writes, adding that due to the irreversible damage to the neurons, it is not possible to cure the disease completely.

Who can get sick?

Frontotemporal dementia usually appears after the age of 65. Women and men get sick equally often. The disease accounts for about 8-10 percent. all cases of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is most commonly diagnosed after the age of forty, followed by the age of sixty. The condition is inherited in about a third of all cases.

SEE ALSO: Six habits that lower the risk of dementia. “Memory loss can be potentially modifiable”

mp.pl, neuropsychologia.org, Alzheimer Association, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Stoianov / BACKGRID / Backgrid USA / Forum

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