- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
His daughter, Rumer Willis, announced in a joint statement with Willis' family that her father was diagnosed with the condition and that it was "impacting his cognitive abilities."
Aphasia affects a person's ability to communicate. It can hinder their speech, writing and understanding of written and verbal language, according to the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, New Jersey. However, it typically does not affect their intellect.
"It’s important to remember that a person with aphasia knows what they want to say, it’s just hard to find the words," writes the Adler Center. "Someone’s internal thinking remains; the ability to access and express those ideas is impacted."
When is aphasia most common?
According to the center, aphasia is most common after a stroke; about 24% to 40% of people who have survived a stroke experience aphasia. However, brain injuries, brain tumors and other neurological conditions can also cause the condition.
How many people are affected by aphasia?
More than 2 million Americans are affected by aphasia, and about 70,000 people in New Jersey have the condition, according to the Adler Center. Some people experience mild effects, such as having difficulty thinking of a word, while others lose the ability to speak almost entirely.
Is aphasia permanent?
The Adler Center reports that there is no cure for the condition, but with medical and therapeutic help, people can improve their language abilities over years.
'This is a really challenging time'
The Willis family's statement went on to say: "This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him."
Willis was raised in Carneys Point, New Jersey and attended the drama program at Montclair State University.
Go to adleraphasiacenter.org for more information about aphasia.
Rebecca King is a food writer for NorthJersey.com. For more on where to dine and drink, please subscribe today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: What is aphasia? Explaining Bruce Willis' diagnosis