Actor Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia, his family has announced.
In March 2022, he retired from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, which caused him difficulty with speech and memorizing lines.
In a statement on social media, they said of the latest health update that it was a “relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
They also expressed their “deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love.”
“Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead,” the statement said.
Willis is best known for his lead role as John McClane in the Die Hard franchise.
What is Frontotemporal dementia?
Willis has been diagnosed with an uncommon type of dementia. Frontotemporal dementia causes problems with behavior and language, according to the British National Health Service (NHS).
Dementia is the general term for issues developed in the brain that leads to gradual changes and damage that affects behavior and quality of life.
Frontotemporal dementia tends to start at a younger age – as early as 45 while common dementia generally affects people over the age of 65.
This form of brain disease affects the front and sides of the brain.
According to the NHS, frontotemporal dementia can lead to behavioral changes that may include impulsive behavior, appearing selfish, neglecting personal hygiene, overeating, and lack of motivation.
The condition also causes language and mental cognition issues. However, memory problems tend to occur later, unlike other forms of dementia, per the NHS.
Bruce Willis’s family wants to raise awareness of the disease
The family statement encouraged the actor’s supporters to learn about FTD and raise awareness through the organization, The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
The letter, which was signed by the actor’s wife, Demi Moore, and his children, shared a link to the website.
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” the statement read.
Willis was box office gold during his career, and his films have grossed up to $3 billion at US box offices.
Willis has received numerous accolades throughout his career for his acting performances, including a Golden Globe Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two People’s Choice Awards.
The Razzies, an award show that hands out awards to the worst movies of the year, rescinded its prize for Bruce Willis after his aphasia diagnosis was revealed.
The 67-year-old actor is a father to five children; three daughters with Moore and two daughters with his wife, model Emma Heming.