Bruce Willis aphasia | MedPage today

Bruce Willis is turning away from acting. The 67-year-old actor, known for his roles in die hard series, The Sixth SenseAnd the Pulp FictionHis family, along with many others, were recently diagnosed with aphasia, his family said. Ex-wife Demi Moore announced on Instagram:

“To the amazing Bruce fans, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has some health issues and was recently diagnosed with aphasia, which affects his cognitive abilities. As a result and with a lot of attention, Bruce is progressing away from a career that meant so much to him. It’s a really difficult time for our family and we deeply appreciate your continued love, sympathy and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit and wanted to bring fans in because we know how much it means to you, as you do to it. As Bruce always says, “Live things up” and together we plan to do Exactly that.”

The statement was jointly sent by Moore and their daughters Rumer, Scott and Talula, as well as Willis’ current wife Emma Heming Willis and their daughters Mabel and Evelyn.

The Los Angeles Times She mentioned that those who worked with Willis recently were concerned about his cognitive decline. He struggled to remember his dialogue, at times needing to feed his lines through an earpiece. In some cases, his lines were shortened, and increasingly, action scenes, especially those with complex choreography, were filmed with a double body.

However, fans should not worry about missing out on the new Willis films for so long. According to IMDB, he has two films this year: petrol alley And the day to dieand eight more films are already completed or in post-production.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a neurological disorder caused by damage to parts of the brain responsible for producing or processing language. For most people, these areas are located on the left side of the brain. Aphasia may occur suddenly or gradually, depending on the type and location of affected brain tissue.

The disorder impairs expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. Aphasia may occur with speech disorders, such as dysarthria or apraxia (the inability to put together correct muscle movements to produce speech), which can also result from brain damage.

Aphasia is not a disease, but rather a symptom of brain damage. Although it primarily appears in individuals who have had a stroke, aphasia can also result from conditions such as a brain tumor, infection, inflammation, head injury, or dementia that affect language-related areas of the brain.

It is estimated that about 1 million people in the United States today suffer from aphasia. The type and severity of language dysfunction depends on the exact location and extent of damaged brain tissue.

Brain anatomy of language

There are several areas of the brain that play critical roles in speech and language:

  • Broca’s area: Located in the posterior inferior frontal gyrus, Broca’s area is associated with speech production and expression.
  • Wernicke’s area: Located in the posterior superior temporal lobe, Wernicke’s area is associated with language processing and understanding.
  • Arcuate bundle: A group of nerves connecting the Broca and Wernicke areas. It is important to form words, speak clearly and understand concepts in the form of language.
  • Angular gyrus: It is located in the anterolateral region of the parietal lobe, near the upper edge of the temporal lobe, and this has problems in transmitting visual information to Wernicke’s area, in order to extract meaning from visually perceived words.

In general, aphasia can be divided into four main categories:

  1. expressive aphasia (also called Broca’s aphasia) involves difficulty conveying ideas through speech or writing. The person knows what he wants to say but cannot find the required words.
  2. receptive aphasia Wernicke aphasia involves difficulty understanding spoken or written language. The individual hears the sound or sees the print but cannot understand the words.
  3. International aphasia It is caused by extensive and severe damage to the language areas of the brain. People lose almost all functions of language, both from comprehension and expression. They cannot speak or understand speech, nor can they read or write.
  4. individuals with anomaly or memory losswhich is the least form of aphasia, difficulty in using the correct names for certain things, people, places, or events.

Aphasia can also be described as being fluent or not speaking fluently. Wernicke’s aphasia is the most common type of fluent aphasia. Sufferers often speak in long, meaningless sentences. They may add unnecessary or made-up words, and are usually unaware of their mistakes.

Broca’s aphasia is the most common type of non-fluent aphasia. People with this type of aphasia may understand speech and know what they want to say, but are unable to do so. They often use short sentences that are produced with great effort.

Aphasia treatment

In some cases, an individual recovers completely from aphasia without treatment. However, in most cases, language therapy should start as soon as possible and be tailored to the individual’s individual needs.

Research has shown that language and communication abilities can continue to improve for many years, sometimes with new activity in brain tissue near the damaged area. Some of the factors that may influence the amount of improvement include the cause of the brain injury, the area of ​​the brain damaged and its extent, and the individual’s age and health.

Rehabilitation with a speech therapist involves extensive exercises where individuals read, write, follow directions, and repeat what they hear. Computer-assisted therapy may complement standard language therapy.

Treatment for aphasia aims to improve a person’s ability to communicate by helping the individual use their remaining language abilities, restore language abilities as much as possible, and learn other ways of communicating, such as gestures, pictures, or the use of electronic devices.

Individual therapy focuses on the specific needs of the individual, while group therapy provides the opportunity to use new communication skills in a small group setting.

New technologies have provided new tools for people with aphasia. “Virtual” speech pathologists provide patients with the flexibility and convenience of getting treatment in their homes through a computer. Using speech-generating applications on mobile devices such as tablets can also provide an alternative method of communication for people who have difficulty using spoken language.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a relatively new area of ​​interest in aphasia research is noninvasive brain stimulation with speech and language therapy.

Two brain stimulation techniques, transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation, temporarily alter normal brain activity in the area being stimulated. The researchers originally used these techniques to help them understand which parts of the brain played a role in language and recovery after a stroke. Recently, scientists are studying whether this temporary change in brain activity might help people re-learn to use language, and several NIDCD-funded clinical trials are currently testing these techniques.

Michelle R. Berman, a pediatrician turned medical journalist. She trained at Johns Hopkins, Washington University in St. Louis, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Its mission is both journalistic and educational: to report common illnesses affecting unfamiliar people and summarize evidence-based medicine behind the headlines.

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