What is aphasia? Bruce Willis to step away from acting amid diagnosi

There are at least 2 million people in the U.S. with the disorder. 

The announcement that actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia is putting a spotlight on the condition — a disorder that can make it hard for a person to communicate. 

Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting after recently being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that is “impacting his cognitive abilities,” according to a statement shared by his family. 

Aphasia, which can cause varying degrees of impairment in speech or understanding language, currently affects more than 2 million Americans 

the National Aphasia Association estimates. The condition often results from a stroke or brain injury, 

but can develop over time due to brain tumors or progressive neurological disease.  

Aphasia can affect people of any age, though most who are diagnosed are “middle-aged or older,” according to the National Institute of Health. 

It happens when there is damage to portions of the brain responsible for language, usually in the left hemisphere 

affecting a person’s ability to produce and understand speech, as well as the ability to read and write