Know more about aphasia, the disorder that actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with

Actor Bruce Willis’ retirement from films after a four-decade-long career has turned the spotlight on a language disorder called aphasia.
bruce willis aphasia
The news has sent Bruce Willis' fans in a tizzy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Geetika Sachdev Published: 31 Mar 2022, 18:37 pm IST
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Hollywood actor Bruce Willis announced retirement from his acting career due to health issues, after being diagnosed with a language disorder called aphasia.
Bruce’s family posted a joint statement on Instagram, saying that aphasia is impacting his cognitive abilities, and that it was a challenging time for their family.

It has been heartbreaking for his fans to bid goodbye to Bruce’s successful four-decade acting career, during which he won two Emmy Awards, one for Moonlighting and another for his guest appearance in F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Aphasia leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Bruce’s daughter Rumer shared a joint statement on her Instagram handle to break the news to fans. It read, “To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family, we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

There’s so much more to know about this condition.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a language disorder that happens as a consequence of damage that is caused in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. When a person suffers from this disorder, they are unable to communicate effectively with others.

There are some people who have aphasia, as a result of a stroke. It is important to understand that there are several types of aphasia. How are these diagnosed? The area of the language-dominant side of the brain that is affected is monitored.
What are the causes of aphasia?

Aphasia happens as a result of damage to the language-dominant side of the brain, usually the left side. It could happen due to:

* Stroke
* Head injury
* Brain tumor
* Infection
* Dementia

What are the different kinds of aphasia?

There are two types of aphasia, one is called Broca aphasia, also known as expressive aphasia. In this condition, words like ‘and’ and ‘the’ are eliminated, and the person speaks in short, but meaningful, sentences. Since this type of aphasia affects the front part of the brain, you can also have right-sided weakness or paralysis of the arm and leg.

There are some, who have Wernicke aphasia, which is also called a receptive aphasia. Here, people speak in long, confusing sentences, or even create new words. Another kind is global aphasia, in which people have difficulties with speaking or understanding the language.

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Check out Bruce Willis’ daughter’s post!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rumer Willis (@rumerwillis)

How is aphasia diagnosed?

The tests are conducted by a speech-language pathologist that include studying speech, naming, repetition, comprehension, reading, and writing.

Some of the other tests that are conducted include:

1. Computed tomography (CT)

Using X-rays and a computer, the test carries out a detailed scan of the body. The scan shows detailed images of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.

2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

This type of imaging uses radio frequencies, and a computer to provide us with detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

3. Positron emission tomography (PET)

A computer-based imaging technique that leverages radioactive substances to examine body processes.

How can aphasia be treated?

Here are some ways to treat aphasia:

* Speech-language therapy
* Non-verbal communication therapies such as computers or pictures
* Group therapy for patients and their families

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About the Author

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town. ...Read More

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