Wendy thanks fans for support after dementia diagnosis

LONDON   -  Former US talk show host Wen­dy Williams has thanked fans for their support over her demen­tia and aphasia diagnosis. Wil­liams, 59, said their response had been “overwhelming” and she had “immense gratitude for the love and kind words” re­ceived. In a statement released to the Associated Press, the star said the messages had remind­ed her of “the power of unity and the need for compassion”. She hosted the nationally syn­dicated Wendy Williams Show for over a decade. It ended in 2022 amid the health struggles she has been facing. Her care team announced her diagnosis on Thursday “to correct inaccu­rate and hurtful rumours about her health”. A statement said: “As Wendy’s fans are aware, in the past she has been open with the public about her medi­cal struggles with Graves’ Dis­ease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related to her health. “Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wen­dy’s ability to process informa­tion and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, par­ticularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understand­ing financial transactions.”

The care team added the diag­nosis was confirmed by “a bat­tery of medical tests” last year. Aphasia is a nervous system syndrome that affects the ability to communicate, with patients often struggling to express thoughts and even losing their ability to speak or write. Fron­totemporal dementia (FTD) is an incurable brain disorder caused by damage to the left side of the brain that affects lan­guage and communication abili­ties. Its symptoms, which get worse over time, can be man­aged but there is no treatment that can slow or prevent their progression, the National Insti­tutes of Health say. The rare dis­ease tends to strike people at a younger age than other forms of dementia, with most diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 64 years old. Hollywood star Bruce Willis also suffers from aphasia and frontotemporal dementia - the conditions meant he had to give up his acting career.

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