What is aphasia, the disease Bruce Willis suffers from

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A few hours ago, the ex-wife of Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, made an announcement on Instagram that Bruce Willis has been facing health problems for several months and that at this moment he will move away from his career he loves a lot because of the aphasia he suffers from.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is an inability to understand or formulate language due to damage to certain regions of the brain. The major causes are stroke or head trauma. Aphasia can also be the result of brain tumors, brain infections or neurodegenerative diseases, but the latter are much less common.

To be diagnosed with aphasia, a person's speech or language must be significantly impaired in one (or more) of four aspects of communication after acquired brain damage. Alternatively, in the case of progressive aphasia, it must have decreased significantly over a short period of time. The four aspects of communication are listening comprehension, verbal expression, reading and writing, and functional communication.

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Difficulties for people with aphasia can range from occasional trouble finding words, to losing the ability to speak, read or write; intelligence, however, is not affected.

Expressive language and receptive language may also be affected. Aphasia also affects visual language such as sign language. Instead, the use of expressions formulated in everyday communication is often preserved.

For example, while a person with aphasia, especially expressive aphasia (Broca's aphasia), may not be able to ask a loved one when their birthday is, they can still sing "Happy Birthday."

A predominant deficit in aphasia is anomia, which is a difficulty in finding the correct word.

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Aphasia affects around 2 million people in the US and 250,000 people in the UK. Nearly 180,000 people acquire this disorder each year in the US alone.

Anyone of any age can develop aphasia, as it is often caused by a traumatic injury. However, middle-aged and older people are most likely to acquire aphasia because the other etiologies are more likely at older ages,?for example, about 75% of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65 years.

Stroke accounts for the most documented cases of aphasia: 25% to 40% of stroke survivors develop aphasia as a result of damage to the language processing regions of the brain.


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