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Wendy Williams, 59, Diagnosed with Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia, per Her Medical Team

The former talk show host's medical team says she has aphasia and frontotemporal dementia — two conditions also affecting Bruce Willis

<p>Evan Falk/Shutterstock</p> Wendy Williams in 2019

Evan Falk/Shutterstock

Wendy Williams in 2019

Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), her medical care team announced.

According to a press release, the former talk show host, 59, received her diagnosis last year and her medical team said the conditions “have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy's life.”

“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself,” the team said in a statement. “Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed. She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way.”


According to Mayo Clinic, aphasia "robs you of the ability to communicate" and "can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written." The group adds that the condition "typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage (degenerative)."

<p>Evan Falk/Shutterstock</p>

Evan Falk/Shutterstock

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is an all-encompassing term for a group of brain disorders that threatens the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This means that parts of these lobes atrophy, and the shrinking of these areas can cause speech issues, emotional problems and changes in personality.

Other symptoms can include loss of motor skills — problems walking, swallowing or muscle spasms. Symptoms tend to get worse over time. Patients typically begin to notice symptoms between 40 - 65 years of age, but it can affect people who are younger. It is the most common form of dementia for people under 60.

Related: What Is Frontotemporal Dementia? Everything to Know About Bruce Willis' Diagnosis

<p>Santiago Felipe/Getty</p> Wendy Williams in 2018 in New York City.

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Wendy Williams in 2018 in New York City.

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Following her aphasia and FTD diagnosis, Williams has been working with specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine. FTD is also the disease that Bruce Willis was diagnosed with last year, after previously being diagnosed with aphasia in 2022.

Williams has dealt with a number of ongoing health issues, including Graves' disease, lymphedema and alcohol abuse.

She entered a facility to treat "cognitive issues" in April 2023 and has been appointed a court-appointed legal guardian. Her sister Wanda Finnie and niece Alex told PEOPLE in this week's cover story that they have seen a positive change in her condition.

"She sounds really great. To hear my aunt now in terms of just how clear she is, just how focused she is on the importance of family and the reality in terms of facing and understanding where she's at physically and mentally and emotionally, it is like a 180," said Alex.

"I don't know what is working, but I do know that when she did reach out to me, it was a person who is remarkably different than what we see in that documentary," Wanda shared, referring to Where Is Wendy Williams?, Lifetime's new documentary filmed between August 2022 and April 2023.

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Read the original article on People.