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Bruce Willis' family says actor has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia

Bruce Willis
Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 16:56:21-05

Bruce Willis' health is deteriorating, according to his family.

Willis stepped away from acting last year after being diagnosed with aphasia, which was impacting his cognitive abilities. His family said Thursday that Willis' symptoms have progressed and doctors diagnosed him with frontotemporal dementia.

"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," Emma Willis wrote on Instagram.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition affects a person's personality and can cause them to lose the ability to use language properly.

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration says there is currently no cure or treatment for the disease. The organization adds that the average life expectancy for someone with the disease is 7 to 13 years after the start of symptoms.

“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 actor's family said in a statement. “We know in our hearts that – if he could today – he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”

Willis, 67, has been featured in movies since the 1980s. He's best known for his roles in the "Die Hard" series, "The Sixth Sense," and "Pulp Fiction."