Women's Health

Understanding Frontotemporal Dementia, Bruce Willis’ Prognosis – SheKnows

As Bruce Willis continues to take care of neurological health issueshis spouse Emma Heming Willis is talking out in regards to the frontotemporal dementia (FTD) prognosis the actor acquired earlier this yr. In an interview with Today this morning, Heming Willis shared particulars on Willis’ battle with FTD, a type of mind atrophy that happens within the entrance a part of the mind, in an effort to lift consciousness for the under-diagnosed illness.

“What I’m learning is that dementia is hard,” Heming Willis mentioned within the interview. “It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say that this is a ‘family disease,’ it really is.”

Frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, happens when parts of the entrance and temporal lobes of the mind start to shrink, or atrophy, in keeping with Mayo Clinic. These elements of the mind are related to character, conduct, and language, and FTD comes with a variety of signs regarding these elements. Folks with FTD might expertise character adjustments, lose the power to make use of language correctly, or develop motor-related points like tremors, poor coordination, or muscle spasms.

The big selection of signs is what makes the illness so laborious to diagnose, mentioned Susan Dickinson, CEO of The Affiliation for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD), who was interviewed alongside Heming Willis on At the moment. Per the AFTDit takes sufferers a mean of three.6 years to get identified with FTD, as a result of the illness shares so many signs with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, melancholy, and psychiatric circumstances.

As Heming Willis shares, receiving Willis’ FTD prognosis felt like a “blessing and a curse, to sort of finally understand what was happening so that I can be into the acceptance of what is.” She famous that it “doesn’t make it any less painful, but just being in the acceptance and just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce just makes it a little bit easier.” When you realize what the illness is from a medical standpoint, she continued, “it sort of all makes sense.”

Most often, the precise reason behind frontotemporal dementia is unknown, although 20 to 25 % of sufferers share a genetic mutation that’s been linked to FTD, Dickinson mentioned. Nevertheless, greater than half of the individuals who develop the illness don’t have any household historical past of dementia, Mayo Clinic notes. There may be presently no remedy or treatment for FTD.


Willis stepped away from appearing in March 2022 due to aphasiahis household mentioned on the time. Aphasia happens when somebody struggles with talking, understanding, studying, or writing. His household shared the 68-year-old actor’s subsequent FTD prognosis in Februrary 2023 in a statement through AFTD. “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,” they wrote.

For Heming Willis, shedding the stigma round FTD is paramount, and why she selected to talk out throughout World FTD Consciousness Week. “We’re a very honest and open household,” Heming Willis mentioned of telling the couple’s two daughtersMabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8, about Willis’ dementia. “It was important that we let them know what [the disease] is because I don’t want there to be any stigma or shame attached to their dad’s diagnosis or for any form of dementia.”

As for his or her household life now, Heming Willis says it’s “hard to know” whether or not Willis is conscious of his decline or prognosis, however that there are nonetheless moments of pleasure. “It’s really important for me to look up from the grief and the sadness so I can see what is happening around us,” she mentioned. “Bruce would really want us to be in the joy of what is. He would really want that for me and our family.”

Earlier than you go, learn up on these celebs talking out about their continual sicknesses:

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