Media personality Wendy Williams diagnosed with aphasia, Frontotemporal Dementia

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   February 23, 2024   Update on : February 23, 2024

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams. Photo: Screengrab

Former popular talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, she and her medical team shared in a statement on Thursday.

Wendy, 59, was former host of “The Wendy Williams Show”, reports CBS news.

Aphasia affects language and communication abilities, and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a progressive frontal lobe disorder, impacts behavior and cognitive functions. 

The conditions of two diseases have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life,” her team said In 2021, Williams had taken a leave from her talk show.

She was diagnosed with the conditions after undergoing “a battery of medical tests in 2023.

She faced effect language, communication behavior, and function, according to a news release.

Williams, who had been open to the public about her Graves’ Disease and lymphedema diagnoses, initially took an indefinite leave from her long-running talk show, “Wendy,” which premiered in 2008.

It was announced in 2022 that Sherri Shepherd would talk over the show as host.

To correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about Wendy’s health, her care team shared a health update on Thursday. 

Her talk show was taped during times when she was unable to form words and acted erratically.

Though researchers are working to better understand the disease and its causes, there are currently no treatments for FTD.

 What do we know about aphasia?

Aphasia leaves patients unable to communicate or understand language. When actor Bruce Willis revealed his diagnosis in 2022, the condition gained widespread attention. Later, the actor discovered he was also diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. According to Mayo Clinic, Aphasia is related to damage on the left side of the brain.

It is usually a sign of other medical issues like stroke, tumor or head injury. The disease may also develop due to a degenerative brain condition.  

What do we know about frontotemporal dementia?

According to Mayo Clinic, Frontotemporal dementia is also known as FTD. FTD describes a group of brain disorders, which are associated with personality, behavior, and language. 

He said nearly 50,000 to 60,000 people are diagnosed with FTD year and it may be under-diagnosed. It is a progressive disease that worsens with time and may necessitate extensive care.

Mayo Clinic added some people with FTD show dramatic changes in their personalities. They can “become socially inappropriate and impulsive, while others properly lose the ability to use language.


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