Bruce Willis speaks for the first time after dementia diagnosis in video of birthday celebrations with family

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Hollywood actor Bruce Willis, who featured in a number of blockbusters such as Die Hard and Fast & Furious, has been keeping a low-profile since his dementia diagnosis.

Bruce Willis has spoken for the very first time since he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTP). The Hollywood actor can be seen in a new video, posted by ex-wife Demi Moore, celebrating his 68th birthday on Sunday (March 19) with friends and family.

The Die Hard star’s diagnosis was first disclosed towards the end of 2022 and loved-ones recently posted an update on his condition in February. His ex-wife Demi Moore shared a clip which showed Bruce Willis speaking and in good spirits on his birthday.

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The video posted on Instagram and Twitter was captioned: “Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today. Love you and love our family. Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes - we all feel them.”

Surrounded by his current wife Emma Heming Willis and daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah among other guests, Bruce Willis appeared to sing a few words of his happy birthday song, having a nice time chatting with others and blowing out the candles of his birthday pie.

Worried fans of the moviestar, who were thrilled to get this rare glimpse of Willis following his FTP diagnosis, highlighted that Bruce Willis was still struggling in the clip as he could be seen making a few stumbles. Some also spotted that he is missing one of his front teeth, but it is unclear what circumstances led to this.

Bruce Willis received a flurry of birthday messages as he turned 68 on March 19. His wife, Emma Heming Willis, posted a touching tribute to her husband which included a message about grief and caring for someone living with FTD.

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FTP - what is it and list of symptoms

According to the NHS, Frontotemporal dementia is an uncommon type of dementia that causes problems with behaviour and language. Dementia is the name for problems with mental abilities caused by gradual changes and damage in the brain, with FTD affecting the front and sides of the brain.

Dementia largely affects those aged 65 and above, but FTD affects those younger and it tends to develop slowly and get worse over time. Symptoms of FTD include:

  • Personality and behaviour changes 

  • Language problems

  • Problems with mental abilities

  • Memory problems

  • Slow and stiff movements

  • Loss of bladder control

  • Muscle weakness

  • Difficulty swallowing

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