Bruce Willis, diagnosed with aphasia, steps away from acting

NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting after a diagnosis of aphasia. The condition causes loss of the ability to understand or express speech.

Willis’ family announced the news in a statement Wednesday on Willis’ Instagram page.

The 67-year-old actor’s family said Willis was recently diagnosed with aphasia and that it is impacting his cognitive abilities. The statement was signed by Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five children, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.

According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia is a condition that affects the ability to speak, write and understand language.

The Mayo says "Aphasia typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage (degenerative)."

The main treatment for aphasia is speech and language therapy. The person with aphasia relearns and practices language skills and learns to use other ways to communicate.

Health officials say signs of aphasia may include:

  • Speaking in short or incomplete sentences
  • Speak in sentences that don’t make sense
  • Speak unrecognizable words
  • Do not understand other people’s conversations

Symptoms of aphasia can be a sign of a serious problem, such as a stroke. You should seek medical attention if you suddenly develop the symptoms above.