Alzheimer’s Association Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana gives guidance for dementia diagnosis

Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 2:20 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Actor Bruce Willis’s family announced that his aphasia has progressed and that he was recently diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

Also known as frontotemporal degeneration, FTD is caused by progressive nerve cell loss to the brain’s frontal and temporal lobes.

This nerve cell damage can lead to deterioration in behavior, personality and/or difficulty with speaking, writing or comprehending language.

Shannon White with the Alzheimer’s Association says people need to know that there are resources and support for families during this difficult time.

The Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter offers services like professional training, education, and support groups.

White said support and a proper diagnosis are the two most important parts. She recommends people talk to their doctor immediately if they have any concerns.

White wants people to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence. She said the announcement of Bruce Willis’s diagnosis brings attention to the disease.

“I think one thing that it really does is put an international spotlight on the need for increased research funding and more spotlight on the disease,” White said. “So many people suffer in silence and without talking about their loved one that might have dementia of any kind-whether it’s Alzheimer’s or a different type. And so this really brings a spotlight to it and really shows that we need more funding for additional treatments and hopefully a cure.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with dementia, you can reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association for help.