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Bruce Willis’ family revealed that the actor has been diagnosed with dementia (FTD), less than a year after he retired from acting due to his battle with aphasia.

More specifically, the 67-year-old actor was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementiawhich causes brain disorders, affecting his abilities to speak and communicate.

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Frontotemporal dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It is one of the most common forms of dementia. It is an irreversible condition, which is due to neurodegenerative changes in the brain. Possibly, it is the most difficult form of dementia to manage. One of its peculiarities is that it usually appears at a younger age, compared to other dementias. It can affect people aged 40 to 65 years.

The symptoms of frontotemporal dementia:

  1. The primary symptom of the disease is disturbances in the person’s behavior and personality. This is the peculiarity and the difficulty to establish the diagnosis in time. Due to her young age the symptoms are misinterpreted and treated as psychiatric disorders. It is indicated that the person may have various outbursts, aggression, disinhibition, delinquent behavior, addiction to gambling or substances. Many times the people close to them describe a different person from the one they knew and they have difficulty understanding what is happening.
  2. As an initial symptom, speech difficulty is observed, whether it concerns pronunciation or understanding.

As the condition progresses, there is a gradual deterioration in mental functions as well. In the final stages of the disease, the person needs 24-hour help, losing his independence and autonomy.

Is there a cure?

As with any form of dementia, this is an irreversible condition. For the treatment and management of frontotemporal dementia, pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological intervention is recommended. The goal is to alleviate the behavioral symptoms, slow the progression of the disease and improve the person’s quality of life. The psychological support and counseling of the caregiver and the family environment of the person is essential, as these people need a special way of treatment.