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Actor Bruce Willis is one of the most popular performers of all time, but he announced his retirement from acting this spring due to a medical condition called aphasia. What is aphasia and how did Bruce Willis get it? Read on below to find out.
What is aphasia?
Aphasia is a disorder that can make it difficult to read, write, speak, and understand speech. It’s caused by an impact on the part of the brain that processes language, often due to a severe concussive impact or long-term pressure in the brain from a tumor.
Aphasia often comes alongside other speech disorders like dysarthria or apraxia of speech, but it’s unknown whether Willis suffers from any of these. Many people with aphasia see dramatic improvements in their ability to speak in the months following their diagnosis, so it’s certainly possible for Willis to make a recovery.
Can aphasia be treated?
There are a variety of ways to treat aphasia, most of which simply involve working with language and engaging in social settings. Many people with aphasia work with a speech pathologist, and they’re encouraged to participate in book clubs, drama clubs, and other social settings that let them speak and listen to other people.
Researchers are always learning about new ways to treat aphasia and other speech disorders, so it’s always possible for groundbreaking treatments to come out that drastically help those who experience these conditions. Willis was one of the highest-paid actors of all time in his prime and was paid $14 million for his performance in The Sixth Sense alone, so he has the benefit of being able to afford the best possible medical care.
How did Bruce Willis get aphasia?
Bruce Willis’ case of aphasia was caused by brain damage resulting from a stroke he had at some point. It’s not quite known exactly when this happened, but actors who starred alongside him prior to his diagnosis said that he seemed to be quite confused at times. Many said that he had to be fed his lines through his earpiece and often forgot why he was there.
Will Bruce Willis ever act again?
In March of this year, Willis’ family announced that he would be retiring from acting due to his aphasia diagnosis. Willis is 67 years old now, and his career had been declining for some time before his diagnosis, so as of now, it seems unlikely that he’ll return to acting. Willis currently lives with his family at his home in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
Other celebrities who have dealt with aphasia
Aphasia is a common brain condition and is currently affecting over a million Americans. Nearly 180,000 people contract aphasia each year, so there are many others, including other actors and celebrities, who have dealt with what Willis is experiencing now.Actress Emilia Clarke was diagnosed with aphasia after a restrictive pain appeared in her head shortly after she finished filming season one of HBO’s Game of Thrones in 2011. Country music star Randy Travis has struggled with aphasia since 2013 but continues to make music to this day.