Legendary actor Bruce Willis was recently spotted for the first time since his family revealed he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) last month. The retired actor stepped out in Santa Monica on Thursday.
Bruce Willis was spotted in public
The Hollywood icon withdrew from acting last year as he began his fight with aphasia, which caused his language abilities to deteriorate – with a joint statement from his family on February 16 confirming his condition had progressed to dementia.
Willis wore a blue sweater, black joggers and a woolen hat as he grabbed coffee with two friends on the outing in California. The frail star was last seen out in public in late January, when he stepped out for lunch with friends in LA – and just weeks before his dementia diagnosis was made public.
FTD affects the lobes of the brain behind the forehead, which deal with behavior, problem-solving, planning and emotions – with symptoms including personality changes, obsessive behavior and speaking difficulties.
The statement, from his wife Emma Heming, ex-wife Demi Moore and five daughters and posted on The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website last month read: ”Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.
In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.
‘Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD).
‘Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.
‘FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know.
‘Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.
‘Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately.
‘We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.
‘Ours is just one family with a loved one who suffers from FTD, and we encourage others facing it to seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD (@theaftd, theaftd.org).