What is aphasia? Bruce Willis explains the symptoms of the condition.

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Aphasia affects people in different ways, but it usually causes problems with reading, listening, speaking, typing, and writing.

What is aphasia? Bruce Willis explains the symptoms of the condition.
What is aphasia? Bruce Willis explains the symptoms of the condition.

After being diagnosed with aphasia, Bruce Willis’ family announced on Wednesday that he will take a break from acting.

The actor’s wife and five children issued a statement saying he would be “stepping away” from his career because his condition was “impacting his cognitive abilities.”


“This is a very difficult time for our family, and we are grateful for your continued love, compassion, and support,” the family said in a statement. “We’re going through this as a strong family unit, and we wanted to invite his fans in because we know how much he means to you as well as he does to us.”

Here’s everything you need to know about aphasia, including its causes and the implications of a diagnosis.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a “language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension,” according to Johns Hopkins. It can make it difficult for a person to communicate and converse with others.

People with aphasia have difficulty reading, listening, speaking, typing, or writing, and may make mistakes with the words they use.

Damage to the left side of the brain, which is responsible for understanding and producing language, is the most common cause, and it can happen as a result of a stroke or a severe head injury.

Aphasia can be short-term or long-term, depending on the nature of the brain injury and the extent of the damage.

“This could be using the wrong sounds in a word, choosing the wrong word, or putting words together incorrectly,” according to the NHS.

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It goes on to say that “aphasia can occur alone or in conjunction with other disorders such as visual difficulties, mobility issues, limb weakness, and memory or thinking problems.”

While people with aphasia have trouble communicating, their intelligence is unaffected, which means that patients can become upset and frustrated when others don’t understand them.

People with aphasia frequently feel alone, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

What is the causes of aphasia?

Aphasia is caused by a stroke, severe head injury, brain tumor, or progressive neurological conditions like dementia.

Aphasia affects people of all ages but is most common in people over 65.

It is usually diagnosed by a speech and language therapist or a doctor using language tests, while brain damage is assessed using imaging techniques like CT or MRI scans.

Is aphasia treatable and does it improve?

Because aphasia has many causes, recovery rates vary.

The NHS says most people with aphasia from a single injury or stroke “recover to some degree”, and some fully, with treatments like speech and language therapy.

The chances of recovery are lower for people with aphasia caused by a progressive neurological disorder, and there are currently “no good ways to reverse the ongoing brain injury.”

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