Frontotemporal dementia, a class of brain disorders brought on by a progressive loss of nerve cells in the brain, has been identified in actor Bruce Willis.
The 67-year-old was initially given an aphasia diagnosis, which causes speech difficulties, but as his condition worsened, doctors gave him a more specific label, according to his family.
A disease is frontotemporal dementia (FTD). It is brought on by the gradual death of nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. A person's personality, behavior, and language may change as those areas contract.
This is not exactly the same as "dementia," which is a term that covers a wide range of symptoms associated with numerous brain disorders, including Alzheimer's.
Unlike most other forms of dementia, FTD primarily affects people in midlife, between the ages of 45 and 65. Although there are various types of FTD, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that 50,000 to 60,000 Americans are living with the disease.
Changes in personality and behavior, as well as issues with language and mental focus, are symptoms.
These include inappropriate social behavior, poor judgment, being easily distracted, and motor issues like tremors and muscle weakness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, FTD can be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric condition because it affects people's personalities and behaviors. .
Although there are treatments for some of the symptoms, there is no cure or way to slow the disease. As the disease progresses, patients eventually need full-time care. The average lifespan after diagnosis is eight to ten years, but some people live significantly longer.
Since there is no specific test, a diagnosis is typically reached only after ruling out alternative diagnoses.
Make an appointment with a healthcare provider for an evaluation if you notice any subtle changes in behavior or language.
A history of the disorder in the family is the only known risk factor.