Last year, we learned that beloved actor Bruce Willis (67)  has been diagnosed with Aphasia and last week his family announced he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

Willis is best known for his starring role in the dramedy “Moonlighting,” opposite Cybill Shepherd, and his starring role as John McClane in the “Die Hard” action franchise. 

Last week on his wife’s verified Instagram account, she posted this beach photo and a heartfelt announcement of his new diagnosis.  Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, supportWhile this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”


According to frontotemporal dementia leads to loss of function in these brain regions, which variably causes deterioration in behavior, personality, and/or difficulty with producing or comprehending language.

Primary progressive aphasia is a type of frontotemporal dementia, a cluster of related disorders that results from the degeneration of the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, which include brain tissue involved in speech and language.


According to the National Aphasia Association,  Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that can affect a person’s ability to generate or comprehend verbal or written language, while leaving intellect intact. Aphasia is due to an injury to the brain-most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals. But brain injuries resulting in aphasia may also arise from head trauma, brain tumors, or from infections. According to Mayo Clinic, aphasia can begin as trouble communicating with trouble finding the correct words, substituting the wrong words for each other, or speaking in short sentences that are difficult or impossible to understand.  Commonly, however, multiple aspects of communication are impaired, while some abilities remain accessible for a limited exchange of information. These issues are related to brain damage. 

“Recovery of language skills is usually a relatively slow process, Mayo Clinic says. “Although most people make significant progress, few people regain full pre-injury communication levels.”

According to the American Stroke Association, different aspects of language are in different parts of the of the brain. So the type of aphasia depends on how your stroke affects each part of your brain.


If you have Wernicke’s Aphasia, you may:

  • Say many words that don’t make sense.
  • Use the wrong words; for instance, you might call a fork a “gleeble.”
  • String together a series of meaningless words that sound like a sentence but don’t make sense.


Injury to the frontal regions of the left hemisphere impacts how words are strung together to form complete sentences. This can lead to Broca’s Aphasia, which is characterized by:

  • Difficulty forming complete sentences.
  • Leaving out words like “is” or “the.”
  • Saying something that doesn’t resemble a sentence.
  • Trouble understanding sentences.
  • Making mistakes in following directions like “left, right, under and after.”
  • Using a word that’s close to what you intend, but not the exact word; for example, saying “car” when you mean “truck.”


A stroke that affects an extensive portion of your front and back regions of the left hemisphere may result in Global Aphasia. You may have difficulty:

  • Understanding words and sentences.
  • Forming words and sentences.

As always, if you have any questions about your senior loved one’s health concerns, please reach out to our Amethyst Home Care @ (843) 984-0739 or (800) 476-7059. Emails us at