What is aphasia? Bruce Willis to step away from acting amid diagnosis

Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting after recently being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that is “impacting his cognitive abilities,” according to a statement shared by his family.

The National Aphasia Association believes that more than 2 million Americans are now affected by aphasia, a condition that may cause varied degrees of speech and language impairment.

Aphasia can affect people of any age, though most who are diagnosed are “middle-aged or older,” according to the National Institute of Health.

There are several different types of aphasia that fall within two categories: fluent and nonfluent. Fluent aphasia generally develops from damage to the temporal lobe, and can result in a common

which may cause a person to have trouble understanding speech, or speak in “long, complete sentences that have no meaning,” the NIH writes. Nonfluent aphasia, found more commonly in those with damage

“Nearly all patients with aphasia have word-finding difficulties – that is, coming up with the correct name of persons, places, things, or events,” the Cleveland Clinic notes.

Patients who suffer aphasia as a result of a brain injury may recover some of their language and cognitive abilities on their own, though many may not. Rehabilitation programs focusing on speech

Drugs that influence the chemical neurotransmitters in the brain may be used in conjunction with speech-language therapy to aid recovery of specific linguistic skills," the agency states.

Willis’ family, including his wife, ex-wife and five daughters, had released a statement on Instagram announcing his diagnosis on Wednesday.

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