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What is aphasia? Bruce Willis’ shock health condition explained

The actor is stepping away from the film industry

Hollywood star Bruce Willis, who is best known for his role as John McClane in the Die Hard films, is stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia.

READ: Demi Moore and family announce Bruce Willis' retirement with heartbreaking health update

The announcement regarding the actor's health was made by his family on Wednesday. Bruce's wife Emma Heming Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore released a statement about the news via Instagram, stating that the condition is: "impacting his cognitive abilities."

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WATCH: Bruce Willis to step away from acting career following diagnosis with aphasia

But what is aphasia?

Aphasia is a condition most commonly found in people aged 65 or over, that makes it difficult for someone to talk, read, understand and write. Issues with speaking are a common symptom, with many people suffering from the condition making mistakes with how they word sentences. For example, choosing the wrong word or putting words together incorrectly.

MORE: Demi Moore's daughter Tallulah shares health update after visit to doctor

The condition is usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain, such as a stroke, brain injury, severe head trauma or progressive neurological conditions such as dementia.

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The actor's family announced the news via Instagram

According to ITV, more than 350,000 people in the UK were living with aphasia in 2018 and it is estimated that one in three people are affected by the condition after a stroke.

The main treatments for the condition are speech and language therapy, in order to restore communicative functions and explore new methods of expression. Luckily, the majority of those diagnosed with aphasia from a single event are expected to make some form of recovery through therapy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Demi Moore (@demimoore)

Bruce's family took to social media to share the news, alongside the caption: "To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting 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.

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Demi Moore shared the news regarding her ex-husband's health

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.

As Bruce always says, “Live it up” and together we plan to do just that. Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn."

MORE: Demi Moore celebrates ex-husband Bruce Willis with rare family photograph together

Celebrity friends and fans were quick to express their support for the family. "Grace and guts! Love to you all!," actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote, while Julianne Moore and Lucy Liu added heart emojis. Actress and wife of Tom Hanks added: "My heart goes out to Bruce, and all of the family. So thankful you shared this with us. Keeping you all in our prayers."

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