What is aphasia? Bruce Willis struggle with loss of language sheds light on disorder with many causes

CHICAGO – It would be easy to think of Bruce Willis as incorruptible. that is, the image that the movie star cultivated on the big screen for so many years.

So it was a shock to many when Willis’s ex-wife, Demi Moore, posted on Instagram, on behalf of the whole family, that she was suffering from a loss of language function known as aphasia.

READ MORE: Bruce Willis “leaves” his career as an actor after being diagnosed with aphasia, family says

“It’s a language disorder or a loss of language. A person with aphasia will have difficulty communicating verbally,” explained Michelle Armor, chief program specialist at the Northwestern Medicine Aphasia Center in Marianjoy.

“You lose the ability to read. You lose the ability to understand spoken language and you can lose the ability to write or speak,” said Dr. Michael Chen, a professor of neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center.

A stroke, tumor, head injury or other damage to the language centers of the brain can cause aphasia. A brain infection or Alzheimer’s disease can trigger it. The National Aphasia Association estimates that 2 million Americans are affected and nearly 180,000 get the disorder each year.

“Whatever happens has a devastating impact on a person’s life,” Armor said. “Lack of communication can affect our social relationships, our personal relationships with famil.y”

Doctors say that aphasia is a symptom, not a diagnosis and comes with varying degrees of severity.

“It is common to have aphasia after a stroke because it is one of the most common forms of brain disease, but really any type of brain disease, if it affects the lingual networks in the brain can cause aphasia,” said Dr. Joseph Moore. Professor of Psychiatry at UI Health.
But while aphasia affects a person’s ability to process language, it does not affect his or her intelligence. Researchers say that in some cases treatment can boost other talents.

“There is so much in the brain that we can enjoy and live in ways that, you know, you can completely forget about language,” said Borna Bonakdarpour, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University.

Some people improve dramatically in a matter of months. Others may need to find other ways to communicate. Speech therapy can help, but any treatment will depend entirely on what caused the onset of aphasia.

Bonakdarpour reminded those affected by aphasia that even if there is no cure yet, there is a cure with that hope.

“We will find joy, even in the midst of all the negative aspects of a situation,” he said.

Both experts working on treating, connecting and ultimately treating patients with aphasia said the Willis family statement is the key to their work.

“The more people know about it, the more support all aphasia people can get, which is so important,” Armor said.

Details of what led to Willis’s condition were not released.

In a statement on social media, Moore said: “We are moving into this as a strong family unit and we wanted to bring in his fans, because we know how much it means to you, as well as you. As Bruce always says, ‘Live it’ and “Together we intend to do just that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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What is aphasia? Bruce Willis struggle with loss of language sheds light on disorder with many causes Source link What is aphasia? Bruce Willis struggle with loss of language sheds light on disorder with many causes

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