For others, seeing Bruce Willis struggling to recall his lines as an athletic and wise-cracking movie star is a difficult one. For anyone, the prospect of progressive aphasia is frightening. But for an actor whose career has revolved around physical agility and quick thinking, the prospect is all the more sobering.
Was this megastar persuaded by others around him to continue working even though the time had come for him to step back from the limelight and take care of himself? Recently, he has appeared in an unusually large number of movies. A better knowledge of aphasia, which can manifest itself in various ways and with varying outcomes, will help us get closer to finding an answer to this question.
To Go by What Has Been Reported,
I’m inclined to believe Willis has a form of early-onset Alzheimer’s or frontotemporal dementia, though I haven’t examined him or run the requisite tests myself. He appears to be having a communication problem, rather than a comprehension problem. This or that face or fact is a constant reminder to Alzheimer’s sufferers, especially in the early stages. It can be both frightening and excruciating for them.
This shows that Willis has some amount of self-awareness, as evidenced by the way he connects the connections. A stroke or other unexpected incident was not suspected to be the cause of the illness, which has been described as degenerative. Another set worker claimed that Willis once said to them:
“I know why you are here, and I know why you are here.” Why am I here?” It’s a question that millions of people with Alzheimer’s ask every day. What makes this sickness so distressing is that individuals can feel themselves deteriorating before anybody else notices it.
Logopenic aphasia is a type of aphasia that occurs in Alzheimer’s patients. This causes patients to go through a period of searching for the correct words. Memory loss makes it harder to remember and repeat extended statements. This would be very difficult for an actor, of course. He may be able to get through the first few lines of a paragraph, but he may lose the thread at the end.
As the Disease Progresses, The Aetiology Remains a Mystery.
therapy options are restricted. If Alzheimer’s is the underlying reason, the symptoms may fluctuate, but they never fully improve. It is also possible to have frontotemporal dementia with nonfluent and semantic forms that result in primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Performing as an actor with the first one would be difficult since you have a difficult time putting any sentences together.
As a result of a lack of vocabulary, such as calling a coffee cup “that thing,” the semantic variation might cause psychological and behavioral problems. Those in the patient’s immediate vicinity may notice these linguistic and personality shifts, but the patient may not be aware of them.
Perhaps Willis, like other patients, will be able to maintain some degree of control and decision-making power over his job, despite his illness. Even so, no two cases are the same. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, reasoning and judgment are not affected, but in frontotemporal dementia, these capacities can be impaired.”
A fresh awareness and open discussion of sickness can be useful to others when a movie star is affected by it, as we’ve seen in the past. At the very least, this awful predicament for Willis and his family should raise awareness about this little-understood but a terrifying condition.