Aphasia: What is Bruce Willis Disease?

After ending his career due to aphasia, Bruce Willis reportedly sold his image rights to a company capable of creating a digital twin for him to continue appearing on screen. Aphasia is a language disorder. Among the best known are Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia.

[Updated September 30, 2022 at 2:01 p.m.] In April 2022, the American actor Bruce Willis old 67 years old announced put an end to his career because of aphasia which prevents him from pursuing his profession. In order not to completely disappear from the screens, the actor would nevertheless have sold his image rights to the company Deepcake so that it creates a 'digital twin' from artificial intelligence software, according to information revealed on September 29 by the British site of the DailyMail . The process had already been used by the actor for the filming of an advertisement in March 2021. Aphasia manifests itself when the language areas located in the left hemisphere of the brain are harmed by a pathology . It leads to difficulties in speaking, understanding, reading and/or writing. This loss of language is not always total, there are very variable forms and degrees of impairment. It is estimated that there are approximately 300,000 aphasic people in France.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is a language disorder that affects people who have acquired the language. The type of aphasia varies according to the area affected in the brain in relation to the language areas. Among the best known: Broca's aphasia and Wernicke's aphasia. There is also conduction aphasia which manifests as a language interspersed with hesitations, stops caused by difficulty in finding words and, above all, by the production of numerous paraphasias and jargon. The affected person mixes the sounds in the words and, as he is usually aware, he will try to correct himself. It may be the result of Wernicke's aphasia having progressed positively. We speak of 'mixed' aphasia when there is both a reduction in expression and significant difficulties in understanding. Finally, 'global' aphasia is the most severe form of aphasia . The expression is almost nil and the comprehension disorders are very important.

What is Broca's aphasia?

Broca's aphasia (also known as 'motor, anterior, or expressive aphasia') which mainly affects speech with symptoms ranging from not find certain words suitable for a total inability to speak. It is characterized by reduced expression. The individual speaks little, slowly, searches for his words. Comprehension is generally well retained.

What is Wernicke's aphasia?

Wernicke's aphasia (also called 'sensory, reception, or posterior') which primarily affects the understanding of language, written or oral. The affected person speaks easily or even abundantly, but sometimes he makes paraphasias or he jargons. In writing, she generally encounters the same difficulties as when she speaks.

What is primary progressive aphasia?

Primary progressive aphasia which sets in insidiously, and whose first symptom is usually the missing the word. People generally have a very good awareness of their language disorder, which generates a lot of frustration and is a source of anxiety. When the aphasia is of the non-fluent type, speech rate is increasingly reduced, ranging to silence . In the case of fluent type aphasia, the opposite occurs with a logorrhea , jargon, significant impairment of oral and written comprehension and impairment of reading aloud and repetition.

What are the causes of aphasia?

The forms of aphasia vary according to their location in the brain.

The primary cause of aphasia is stroke ( stroke . Otherwise it may be a head trauma , tumour, aneurysm, infection or neurodegenerative disease Alzheimer . The forms of aphasia vary according to their location in the brain.

What are the symptoms of aphasia?

Aphasia does not only affect language, but also in many cases comprehension, reading and writing.

People with aphasia often have difficulty expressing themselves spontaneously. Depending on the type of aphasia, some speak only with a juxtaposition of syllables, others speak very slowly and struggle to construct sentences because they can no longer find the right words. There are also people with aphasia who speak fluently but mix up certain sounds and words.

In cases of severe aphasia, people only understand isolated words and interpret the meaning of a message thanks to the context and non-verbal aspects. This is also the case for reading and writing whose letters can be reversed, added, forgotten or replaced. Some words, however spelled correctly, may not correspond to the intended meaning.

What tests are used to diagnose aphasia?

The diagnosis of aphasia is generally made by the neurologist, but it can also be mentioned by the general practitioner (rather in the case of progressive aphasia) or the emergency doctor (in particular in the case of sudden aphasia). An additional assessment by a neuropsychologist is recommended to confirm the diagnosis and identify the type of aphasia. Depending on the cause, some imaging tests such as a scanner and/or a IRM of the brain may be required.

What are the treatments for aphasia?

Treatment is based on addressing the cause when it is possible to cure it. Care by a neurologist is therefore necessary in all cases to make the diagnosis and act quickly in the event of a stroke, for example. In the early stages, the language can quickly recover due to the improvement in general health. This spontaneous recovery must be supported by intensive and targeted speech therapy, because it is during this initial phase that the language functions are the most malleable. The goals are to improve language functions, optimize communication and enable active participation in social life.

What advice?

If you are speaking with an aphasic person, do not hesitate to talk slowly with simple, short sentences and concrete words, using gestures (showing, miming) and rephrasing if necessary. Understanding is facilitated by relying on the current situation or on elements that illustrate the conversation (for example, photos of the people or the place we are talking about).

Discover : The National Federation of Aphasics of France

Source journaldesfemmes.fr