Primary Progressive Aphasia by Wendy Williams What to know about aphasia after a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia

Talk show host and media personality Wendy Williams A primary progressive has been detected Aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, his care team announced Thursday.

“The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, not only to show understanding and compassion for Wendy, but also to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support thousands of others facing similar situations,” the group said. A press release.

Williams, 59, will appear in her upcoming Lifetime documentary “Where's Wendy Williams?” Feb. The 24 premiere revealed that she has been open about her health issues in the past, including her experience with Graves' disease, a thyroid disease.

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes “impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with performing daily activities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Frontal lobes are caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke At the National Institutes of Health. It is the most common form of dementia in people under the age of 60, and there is currently no known cure.

According to the agency, symptoms of frontotemporal dementia, or FDT, vary from person to person. Symptoms may include “changes in personality, behavior, and judgment”; primary progressive aphasia, which includes “changes in the ability to communicate” and “problems with memory, reasoning, and judgment”; and movement disorders or problems with balance or walking.

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“FTD is progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time,” the agency says. “In the early stages, people may have only one type of symptom. As the disease progresses, other symptoms appear as more parts of the brain are affected. It's hard to predict how long someone with FTD will live.”

Here are five things to know about aphasia.

Aphasia affects language

As stated therein National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication DisordersAnother subsidiary agency at the National Institutes of Health states that aphasia is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that process, usually the left side of the brain.

This disorder makes it difficult to speak, write, read and understand.

Aphasia can be caused by brain damage

In most cases, according to the NIH, aphasia comes on suddenly, such as after a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Aphasia may develop gradually if a person has a brain tumor or progressive neurological disease.

In some conditions, such as frontotemporal dementia, brain cells slow down can lead For progressive syndromes such as aphasias.

It does not affect a person's cognition

While people with aphasia have difficulty communicating, the disorder does not affect their intelligence National Aphasia Association.

“For people with aphasia, it's the ability to access ideas and thoughts through language — the ideas and thoughts themselves — that is disrupted,” says the NAA.

There are different types of aphasia

There are different types of aphasia depending on which part of the brain is affected.

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In Broca's aphasia, damage to the frontal lobes of the brain can cause a person to fully understand speech but still be unable to form words or complete sentences, according to the NIH.

In Wernicke's aphasia, damage to the temporal lobe of the brain causes a person to speak in long, frequently formed sentences and may have difficulty understanding speech, the institute says.

According to the NIH, another type, global aphasia, can cause extensive damage throughout the language areas of the brain, leaving a person unable to speak and understand.

With conduction aphasia, a person may understand words but have difficulty repeating them, while with anomic aphasia, a person may have difficulty naming objects even though they know what they are.

In primary progressive aphasia, which is a gradual loss of overall language ability, a person will slowly lose the ability to speak over time, progressing to a severe loss over time.

Speech-language therapy is the go-to treatment

According to the NIH, some people with aphasia may see improvements even without treatment as their brains recover.

For others, speech-language therapy is needed to regain the ability to communicate.

According to the NIH, how much a person can recover their language skills depends on the cause of the brain injury, the extent of the injury and where the damage occurred in the brain, and the person's age and health.

According to the NIH, in addition to speech-language therapy, social activities such as book clubs and support groups can be helpful in therapy, as can family involvement.

ABC News' Carson Blackwelter and Katie Kindelen, Dr. Constantine E. Kanakis and Dr. Eli Kahan contributed to this article.

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