Bruce Willis: A woman with dementia has hope after her diagnosis

Wendy Burton is married to Ian Burton

The spouse of a man who has the same type of dementia as Bruce Willis has expressed her hope that the celebrity's case will increase awareness of the condition.

After Wendy Burton noticed a change in his behavior, her husband Ian was identified as having frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in 2014.

The personality and language aspects of FTD are impacted by the progressive loss of nerve cells in the brain.

After receiving an aphasia diagnosis, Willis, 67, had already given up acting.

Mrs. Burton claimed that when her husband of 36 years' behavior started to change in 2013, she first realized there was a problem.

We didn't believe he was ill; instead, she said, "He seemed to ruin everything we were trying to do and I actually thought my marriage was crumbling.".

"He couldn't comprehend empathy, and he was unable to plan anything, which is why he was having problems at work. A complete personality shift occurred.

"We simply couldn't figure out what was happening. " .

Ian Burton with his family
As Mr. Burton's health declines, his family is spending as much time with him as they can.

Additionally, the couple was aware that Mr. Burton was having issues at the Derbyshire Police, where he provided technical support.

The problems got so bad that the police encouraged him to get a brain tumor checkup after doctors said he might have one.

"I told him that we both know something is wrong and maybe this will be a catalyst that means we will find out why," said Mrs. Burton.

He had FTD, which was evidently present on the MRI scan. Around the brain, there was extensive shrinkage. ".

As Mr. Burton's health deteriorates, Mrs. Burton claims that their three children and two grandchildren are spending as much time with the couple as they can.

Actor Bruce Willis
The 67-year-old actor Bruce Willis has been identified as having frontotemporal dementia.

The Bruce Willis family announced on Friday that he had been identified as having FTD.

His family reported that he was initially given an aphasia diagnosis last year, which results in speech difficulties, but that this has since progressed and he has now been given a more specific diagnosis.

The temporal and frontal lobes of the brain, which are located behind the ears and forehead, are thought to accumulate toxic proteins that lead to frontotemporal dementia. These proteins are thought to kill brain cells.

Damage to these areas has an impact on behavior, planning abilities, and language (such as Willis' aphasia).

According to James Gallagher, a BBC health and science correspondent, frontotemporal dementia is typically diagnosed eight to ten years after the onset of symptoms, but some people live much longer.

Ian Burton with his family
The Burton family wants to increase understanding of the condition.

Mrs. Burton, who is now a dementia adviser at Making Space in Derby, expressed her hope that Willis's case would raise awareness of the condition.

It's a tragic misfortune that someone has this illness, but if there is a high-profile person who can spread the word and help people realize that dementia is a symptom of Alzheimer's, she said.

There is still no cure for FTD, but doctors can treat some of the symptoms.

We just know we're going downhill, so it's challenging. We just need to make the most of the time we have left with him and try to enjoy it as much as we can.

. "

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