top of page

It is a family thing

I know very little about Bruce Willis and his claims to fame, but I have learned that he is living with Fronto-Temporal Dementia. The responses of his fans and family to this are keeping the condition in the headlines: Bruce Willis’s daughter says family ascribed his dementia to ‘Hollywood hearing loss’ | Bruce Willis | The Guardian For all the science and the care and treatment from professional experts, it is the feelings and the efforts of close family and friends which give the signature to dementia and living and dying with it. People are changed, progressively and often predictably – though the speed of change and the particulars of symptoms are individual and demand an open, accepting ‘wait and see’ approach.

Fronto-Temporal Dementia is less common than Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular dementia. Changes in personality and emotional control are more prominent than memory dysfunction in the early stages. It does run in families – with a genetic component in roughly one in three. Inheritance follows a dominant pattern: Frontotemporal dementia - NHS (

The remaining two thirds of cases are described as ‘sporadic’ in that they do not follow a familial pattern and the aetiology is uncertain, though traumatic brain injury, including that which can occur in contact sports, is identified in some: Traumatic Brain Injury Associates with an Earlier Onset in IJERPH | Free Full-Text | Environmental Risk Factors for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Dementia and Frontotemporal Dementia: A Case-Control Study in Northern Italy ( Frontotemporal Dementia - IOS Press

For the most part the challenge of living with dementia is one mostly met by people-care. Another relevant article this week alerts us to ne power of good, well-balance nutrition to preserve cognition – and the risk for those on poorer diets of developing dementia. Best take notice if we can afford to: Flavonoids help preserve memory: Tea, apples and berries could stave off age-related memory loss, study suggests | Ageing | The Guardian

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Have a care

For those of us who were drawn to improve services for older people with mental disorders, including dementia, during the 1970s, we were uplifted by the establishment of the Alzheimer’s Disease Societ

bottom of page