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Bruce Willis’ family shares frontotemporal dementia diagnosis: His ‘condition has progressed’

The actor’s condition has “progressed” since the family announced in 2022 that he was diagnosed with aphasia. 
/ Source: TODAY

Demi Moore has announced that her ex-husband Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

The actor shared an update about Willis’ health in a message posted to Instagram on Thursday, Feb. 16 and signed by his family. 

"Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis,” the statement said. “In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.”

The family continued, “Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). 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.”

The caption was signed by the “Ladies of Willis/Moore.” Moore and Willis' three daughters — Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, and Tallulah, 29 — and his wife, Emma Heming Willis, all uploaded the same statement to their own respective Instagram pages.

They also penned a lengthier statement about the 67-year-old actor’s health on The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website

They described FTD as a “cruel disease” that can affect anyone. 

“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,” the family wrote. 

Willis’ family applauded him for always using his platform to help those in need and to call attention to important issues. 

They added, “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.”

They then thanked all of Willis’ fans for the support and love he has received. 

“Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible,” they concluded.

The second message was signed by his family, including the two daughters he shares with Heming Willis, Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8.

Frontotemporal dementia is a disease that can impact behavior, personality, language and movement, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The disorder causes the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain to shrink. 

Symptoms can start between the ages of 40 and 65, the medical institution reports. Primary progressive aphasia is one of the two common types of FTD.

In March 2022, the “Pulp Fiction” star’s family revealed he was diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder caused by damage to the brain that impacts speaking, reading, writing and understanding others, according to the National Aphasia Association. 

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” the family said at the time. 

Willis’ family shared that they wanted to inform his fans of his health issues because of how much they mean to him. 

“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that,” they wrote.