According to his family, actor Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia.
They claimed it was a “relief to finally have a precise diagnosis” in a statement posted on social media.
The 67-year-old was given a more precise diagnosis after progressing from his initial aphasia diagnosis, which results in speech impairments, made in the spring of last year, according to the family.
They gave their “sincere thanks for the overwhelming outpouring of love.”
Frontotemporal dementia is the most prevalent type of dementia in adults under 60, the family continued.
The statement stated that “today there are no cures for the condition, a situation that we hope can change in the years ahead.”
After acting in blockbuster movies like Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, and Pulp Fiction, Willis rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s.
He was also nominated for three Emmys, where he won two, and five Golden Globes, including one for Moonlighting.
But, Bruce Willis‘ family said last year that he would stop performing since his aphasia was impairing his cognitive function.
The latest statement on Thursday expressed the hope that the actor’s illness would become more widely known due to media coverage.
“Bruce Willis always believed in utilizing his voice to help others and to raise awareness about important causes, both publicly and personally,” it read.
“We know in our hearts that if he could today, he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a sense of connection with those who are also coping with this crippling condition and how it impacts so many people and their families,” said the statement.
Family members of Bruce Willis, including his wife Emma Heming and their two daughters as well as his ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters, signed the declaration.
Maria Shriver, a well-known supporter of patient care and research for brain disorders and a US journalist, tweeted: “My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family, and I’m grateful for shedding a much-needed attention on this condition.
“When people speak up, it benefits us all. It’s incredibly painful for people to receive a diagnosis, but it’s also a relief for the majority.
A star of the American television crime thriller Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul, called Willis “such a freaking legend” and added, “Love you so much, my friend!”
“God bless you dear brother, we love you!!!” read a post on Instagram by American singer and actress Queen Latifah. the very best. I want to thank you and your family for the fun we had.
Multiple sclerosis sufferer Selma Blair’s message was simply “Sending love.”
Frontotemporal dementia is a “uncommon” form of the disease that affects behavior and language, according to the UK NHS website.
Other symptoms include muscle weakness, sluggish or stiff movements, loss of bladder or bowel control (although this usually occurs later), and slow or stiff breathing.