Demi Moore Reveals Bruce Willis Has Been Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia

Willis retired from acting in 2022 after being diagnosed with aphasia.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) Rumer Willis, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Scout Willis, ...
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Nearly a year after announcing that Bruce Willis would retire from acting following his aphasia diagnosis in March 2022, his family is sharing an urgent update on his health. On Feb. 16, Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore announced on Instagram that the actor has received a more specific diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, noting that his condition has “progressed.” Moore led her followers to a formal letter on the Association for Frontotemporal Dementia’s website, signed by her and Willis’ daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah, Willis’ wife Emma, and their children Mabel and Evelyn.

“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,” the statement read, before revealing his FTD diagnosis. “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.”

The family went on to explain that FTD was the most common form of dementia for people under 60 and there were no treatments for the disease, which they hope “can change in the years ahead.” They requested that all media attention on Willis’ condition can focus on “shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research,” especially as the disease progresses.

“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” they wrote. “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.”

According to the AFTD, frontotemporal dementia represents a series of brain disorders that targets the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain, which are generally associated with one’s personality, behavior, and language. FTD shows through several different symptoms, such as “uncharacteristic personality changes, apathy, and unexplained struggles with decision-making, speaking, or language comprehension.” The Mayo Clinic notes that FTD is often confused for Alzheimer's disease, but usually occurs at a younger age than Alzheimer’s, as is the case for the 67-year-old actor.

The “Ladies of Willis/Moore,” as Moore signed off her Instagram post, concluded their message by assuring fans that he is living the most fulfilling and productive life he can. “Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same,” they wrote. “It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.”