Bruce Willis’s family has announced that the actor has been diagnosed with aphasia, a cognitive language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” wrote Willis’ family in a joint statement in social media, adding,”We are moving through this as a strong family unit. As Bruce always ways, ‘live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
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The note was also reposted by Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore, with whom he remains close to after their divorce in 2000. He is currently married to model-actress Emma Heming and is father to a total of five children with both women.
What Is Aphasia?
Aphasia just means that someone has a problem with language that they weren’t born with. The most common cause is stroke or head injury, and it can affect the production and comprehension of speech and written words. It normally doesn’t impact intelligence.
Since news broke of Bruce Willis’s aphasia diagnosis, I’ve gotten a lot of questions. Trust me, aphasia really sucks—but I still live a full life. So what is aphasia and what does it mean for 2 million Americans who have it? My speech therapist Dr. Fabi Hirsch and I discuss here. pic.twitter.com/mxmHv3fL7n
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) March 31, 2022
For an actor, aphasia could pose a huge challenge, said Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientist Brenda Rapp. “You can imagine how frustrating it is if you can’t find or organise words into sentences. You are still yourself, but you may not sound like yourself.”
More details on aphasia here.
Photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons