Bruce Willis Quits Acting Due To His Condition Aphasia, Know Everything About It

Bruce Willis has taken retirement from his acting career due to the condition aphasia. Know the symptoms causes and treatment from an expert. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Apr 03, 2022Updated at: Apr 06, 2022
Bruce Willis Quits Acting Due To His Condition Aphasia, Know Everything About It

The family of Hollywood actor Bruce Willis, 67, recently announced that the actor will be quitting movies and taking a step back from his career as he got diagnosed with the condition aphasia, which has affected his cognitive abilities. "As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," his family said in a statement. Do you know what is aphasia? It is a communication condition which causes problems in someone's ability to speak or understand speech. It can also affect their writing and ability to read. 

It is important to know that aphasia can be of different types. Some people with aphasia might just have difficulty in understanding language as a result of damage to the temporal lobe, which affects how sound and language are processed in theirnbrain. Some might only have difficulty in speaking, which means  damage to the frontal lobe. A loss of both speaking and language abilities indicates damage to both the large temporal lobe and frontal lobe. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr Ruchi Sharma, Consultant  Psychologist, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, to know about types, symptoms, causes and treatment of aphasia.

Types of aphasia 

According to Dr. Ruchi, here are the patterns of aphasia

1. Expressive aphasia: Expressive aphasia is also called Broca's or nonfluent aphasia. People with this type of aphasia might understand what other people say better than they can say anything. People with this aphasia pattern have difficulty in getting the words out of their mouth, speak in very short sentences and eliminate words. 

2. Comprehensive aphasia: People with this type of aphasia also called fluent or Wernicke's aphasia might be able to speak easily in long sentences but they won't make any sense or will have unrecognizable or unnecessary words in it. Usually, they do not understand spoken language properly and do not realize that others are not able to understand them.

3. Global aphasia: Global aphasia pattern has symptoms such as poor comprehension and difficulty in making words and sentences. This pattern is caused by major damage to the brain's language networks. People with global aphasia have extensive disabilities with expression and comprehension.

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Aphasia symptoms

Almost every person suffering from aphasia faces difficulties in coming up with the names of things they know, but can't find the name for. And because of that, they have trouble using words in sentences. Here are the main symptoms of aphasia: 

  • Speaking short or half sentences
  • Speaking alternate words instead of the suitable one
  • Speaking sentences that do not make any sense
  • Saying unrecognizable or non existing words
  • Not being able understand other people's conversation
  • Writing sentences that do not make any sense

Causes of aphasia 

In most of the cases, aphasia is caused by a stroke or hemorrhage in the brain. It can also be caused because of damage to the brain from impact injury or brain trauma like a car accident. Brain tumors can also cause aphasia.

There is another different form of the condition called primary progressive aphasia. This might show early mild symptoms but can get worse with time. The experts and team of doctors don't  know what causes primary progressive aphasia. This condition also affects the same brain regions like in cases where aphasia can be caused by a stroke or hemorrhage, but the onset of signs follow a different way. 

Also read: Aphasia Affects Cognitive Functions. Know About These 3 Types Of Aphasia That Cannot Be Treated

Aphasia treatment

For diagnosis of aphasia, the doctor will most probably take a physical and neurological test, to know about your strength, feeling and reflexes, and will check your heart and the vessels in your neck. He or she miht also conduct an imaging test, mostly an MRI, to quickly identify the exact cause of aphasia.

If the brain damage is mild, the patient might recover his language skills without any kind of treatment. But, most people have to go through speech and language therapy to restore their language skills and improve their communication experience. Here are the most common treatment methods that can be used: 

  • Speech and language therapy
  • Medications 
  • Brain stimulation 

A person who has aphasia requires support of his family and friends. It is important to not make the patient feel like they are abnormal or not able function like everyone else. They are just lacking in a few cognitive abilities. Loved ones should take proper care of the patient at home and try to understand the condition.