Wendy Williams diagnosed with Dementia and Aphasia

February 22, 2024
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Renowned former talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, the same conditions affecting actor Bruce Willis, according to a statement released by her caretakers. This revelation, shared on PR Newswire, sheds light on the significant hurdles Wendy faces, impacting both her behavior and cognition.

Despite the challenges, Wendy, at 59, retains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the necessary care to address her needs. Expressing gratitude for the support and well-wishes, the statement emphasizes Wendy’s ability to manage many aspects of her life independently.

The disclosure comes in the wake of a People magazine cover story detailing Wendy’s struggles, leading up to a forthcoming Lifetime documentary. Her family, notably her sister Wanda, expressed concern about her well-being and highlighted the limited access they have, with only a court-appointed legal guardian having unrestricted contact.

The documentary crew, initially documenting Wendy’s comeback, halted filming in April 2023 when she entered a facility for cognitive issues, as revealed by her manager and jeweler, Will Selby. The family disclosed that doctors linked her cognitive challenges to alcohol use.

Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), affecting behavior, language, and movement, is the umbrella term for Wendy’s diagnosed conditions. The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, which also disclosed Bruce Willis’ diagnosis, describes FTD as an inevitable decline in functioning, with an average life expectancy of seven to 13 years after symptom onset.

While there’s no cure for FTD, interventions can help manage symptoms. Weill Cornell Medicine in New York is credited with providing care and expertise to Wendy, although they declined to comment.

Wendy Williams, known for her candid approach to personal details, rose to fame through her boundary-breaking career, transitioning from radio to television. Her iconic phrase, “How you doin’?” became a hallmark of “The Wendy Williams Show,” which ended in 2022 due to her ongoing health issues. In 2018, Wendy disclosed her Graves’ disease diagnosis, further impacting her health and contributing to the challenges she faces today.