Actor Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia. What is it? : NPR

Actor Bruce Willis has recently been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder that is often difficult to diagnose.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a type of dementia that affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This affects portion of the brain responsible for thought, language, behavior and emotion. Common symptoms of the condition include disinhibition—a lack of restraint which can lead to uncharacteristic behavior—impairments in executive functioning, such as planning and multitasking, language problems and altered personality.

FTD is one of the least common types of dementia, generally affecting only 1–3 percent of dementia patients. As a result, this form of dementia is often overlooked or misdiagnosed with other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. FTD is not just a diagnosis of exclusion; rather, diagnosis can be made through an assessment of symptoms combined with imaging tests and laboratory findings.

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to slowing the progress of FTD and preserving quality of life. Currently, there is no cure for FTD, and individualized management of the condition is necessary due to the wide range of symptoms presented by patients. This may include behavioural, psychological and pharmacological approaches. Other support mechanisms such as access to counseling, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapies may also help in managing the condition.

The diagnosis of FTD in Bruce Willis is a reminder of how important it is for individuals and families to be aware of FTD and the potential it has to impact their lives. While there is currently no cure for FTD, individuals and families diagnosed with this a condition can still find ways to cope and take steps to ensure they are given extra care and support as they navigate their new life. [ad_1]

Bruce Willis attends a film premiere in New York on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Nearly a year just after Bruce Willis’ family members introduced that he would move absent from performing after becoming diagnosed with aphasia, his family members says his “affliction has progressed.” In a assertion posted Thursday, his loved ones reported Willis has a additional precise prognosis of frontotemporal dementia.

Charles Sykes/Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

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Charles Sykes/Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Bruce Willis attends a motion picture premiere in New York on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Almost a yr after Bruce Willis’ household announced that he would stage absent from acting immediately after getting diagnosed with aphasia, his family members says his “affliction has progressed.” In a assertion posted Thursday, his family members explained Willis has a a lot more distinct analysis of frontotemporal dementia.

Charles Sykes/Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with dementia, evolving from a earlier analysis of aphasia very last spring, his spouse and children announced Thursday.

Additional exclusively, Willis has frontotemporal dementia, which can incorporate aphasia, which brings issues with speaking and crafting.

“Regrettably, troubles with interaction are just one particular symptom of the illness Bruce faces,” his family members claimed. “Whilst this is distressing, it is a relief to at last have a clear diagnosis.”

Willis’s family mentioned past 12 months the actor would be stepping absent from his many years-long job owing to his impaired cognition.

What is frontotemporal dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia, also identified as FTD, is one of quite a few types of dementia and leads to nerve injury in the frontal and temporal lobes, which prospects to a decline of operate in people locations, in accordance to the Alzheimer’s Association.

There are different forms of frontotemporal dementia. Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia results in nerve decline in the spots of the mind that management empathy, judgment and conduct.

Main progressive aphasia deteriorates elements of the mind that regulate speaking, crafting and comprehension. The onset of signs or symptoms generally starts in advance of age 65, but can come about afterwards.

FTD can also disrupt motor purpose and movement, which could be labeled as Lou Gehrig’s sickness, also acknowledged as ALS.

How is FTD distinctive from Alzheimer’s?

Prognosis of FTD tends to materialize amongst a individual in their 40s and 60s, though Alzheimer’s takes place at a later age. Alzheimer’s is also a lot more intently tied to hallucinations, memory reduction and problems with spatial orientation, these kinds of as acquiring lost.

Therapy and analysis

Medical professionals use brain imaging technologies, these types of as MRIs, to diagnose FTD. The final results are analyzed in tandem with a patient’s healthcare background and indications. About 30% of men and women with frontotemporal degeneration inherit the ailment there are no recognized danger elements.

There are remedies that can assistance relieve signs or symptoms, but the ailment eventually gets even worse with time.


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