Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, his family has announced.

Relatives of the 67-year-old Hollywood actor previously said that he would be “stepping away” from his successful career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition affecting his cognitive abilities.

In a post shared on Instagram on Thursday, Willis’s daughter Rumer offered an update on her father’s health, confirming his condition has “progressed” and he had been given the “more specific” diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia.

Rumer, who Willis shares with his former partner, actress Demi Moore, wrote: “Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.

“In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.

“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD).

“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”

According to the NHS, frontotemporal dementia is an “uncommon” form of the disease that causes the sufferer problems with behaviour and language, and mostly affects those between the ages of 45 and 65.

Willis’ family further explained the condition in an extended statement on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website in which they acknowledged frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a “cruel disease” and “can strike anyone”.

The family added that they hoped media attention on the actor’s condition would raise awareness.

“FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone,” their statement read.

“For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know.

“Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead.

“As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”

They added: “Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately.

“We know in our hearts that – if he could today – he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”

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The statement was signed from members of Willis’ family including his wife Emma Heming, former wife Moore and his daughters.

Willis has starred in hit films including the Die Hard series, Pulp Fiction, Armageddon, Moonrise Kingdom, 12 Monkeys and Looper.

He has five daughters, sharing his three eldest – Rumer, Scout and Tallulah – with Moore whom he married in 1987.

Despite separating in 2000, the pair remain on amicable terms. Willis went on to marry actress Heming in 2009.

The pair share two daughters, Mabel and Evelyn.

Following the news of Willis’s diagnosis, charity Dementia UK said: “We’re sorry to hear that Bruce has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

“By choosing to speak publicly about his diagnosis, more awareness can be raised about FTD and hopefully it will encourage others to seek advice if they are experiencing concerns about their brain health.

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“FTD is the third most common form of dementia in people under the age of 65 but there is still limited awareness of it among the public and health and social care professionals. This can impact negatively on the care that people living with the condition receive.”

Over the course of his career, Willis has been highly commended for many performances, receiving multiple award nominations including five Golden Globes, of which he won one, and three Primetime Emmys, of which he won two.

In 2006, he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles.

In response to the news, The Alzheimer’s Society has said it is “hugely thankful” for Willis’s decision to speak openly about his diagnosis.

In a statement to the PA news agency, the charity’s chief executive Kate Lee said: “We’re sending our thoughts to Bruce Willis and his family following their announcement that Bruce is living with frontotemporal dementia.

“Speaking publicly about his diagnosis will help so much to shine further light on the condition, for which we are hugely thankful.”