How media misconstrued Bruce Willis' disease for public

 

by IANS |

New York, Dec 3 (IANS) A great deal of media coverage of actor Bruce Willis’ medical condition, frontotemporal degeneration, was inaccurate, revealing the public’s limited knowledge of the disease, new research has revealed.


In 2022, Willis’ family released a statement saying that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, an acquired language impairment, and would retire from acting.


Ten months later, the family issued another statement indicating doctors had diagnosed Willis with a more specific condition, frontotemporal degeneration.


This resulted in an explosion of media coverage, as prominent news outlets produced stories describing frontotemporal degeneration to a public largely unfamiliar with the disease.


A new paper in the journal Innovation in Aging, published by Oxford University Press, showed that the media misconstrued the disease. Rather than describing how frontotemporal degeneration was discovered to be the underlying source of Willis’ aphasia, many reports described his aphasia as “progressing into” frontotemporal degeneration, implying they are two different disorders.


Norah O’Donnell put it on CBS evening news: “His family says that has progressed into frontotemporal dementia, which impacts personality, behaviour, and language.”


Similarly, Entertainment Tonight reported that the family “… revealed that his brain disease has progressed to frontotemporal dementia.”


This is inaccurate. His aphasia did not turn into frontotemporal degeneration. His aphasia was a symptom of frontotemporal degeneration and after ten months his doctors had figured out the underlying condition, the research noted.


Why did journalists make this mistake? The paper speculated that aphasia developing into something else made for a better narrative: an esoteric and complicated story about diagnostic clarification is not nearly as interesting as a story of a movie star suffering further hardship.


“Given the confusion surrounding frontotemporal degeneration, the courageous disclosure by the Willis family is a model for educating the public about this still hidden disease,” said Steven M Albert, the editor-in-chief of Innovation in Aging, which published the paper.

Latest Cinema Updates
Tamannaah says it's 'only the beginning' as she clocks 19 years in showbizv Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:40 AM
Chitrangda's Monday mood: 'Hair flippin' workout done!' Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:38 AM
Shriya Saran shows her classical dance moves at digital art museum in Dubai Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:37 AM
Drake promises to pay off home mortgage of a fan's late mother Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:36 AM
Kate Hudson has saved all her red carpet ensembles for daughter Rani Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:36 AM
Pitbull labels Dolly Parton 'the real deal', calls music collab an 'honour' Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:33 AM
Harshvardhan Rane would deliver helmet to John, CDs to Mukesh Bhatt Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:32 AM
Sidharth Malhotra shares scene from ‘Ek Villain’ as he wishes co-star Shraddha on b'day Mon, Mar 04, 2024, 11:31 AM
Adah Sharma looks fearless in two avatars in 'Bastar: The Naxal Story' poster Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 12:53 PM
Kajol wishes 'eternally young' sister Tanishaa on her 46th b'day Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 12:45 PM
Tanuj Virwani calls 'Yodha' a 'humongous opportunity' for him Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 12:02 PM
Amy Jackson reminisces about 'Hosanna', says 'it stands out as beautiful love song' Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 12:00 PM
Vardhan Puri: 'Bloody Ishq' belongs to a world that Vikram Bhatt is a master of Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 11:59 AM
Neetu Chandra says her portrayal of Umrao Jaan will be 'a tribute to Rekha ji' Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 11:20 AM
Jack Black: 'Kung Fu Panda' is like my happy place Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 11:09 AM
Huma Qureshi in her 'queen era', flaunts green look for 'Maharani 3' promos Sun, Mar 03, 2024, 10:58 AM
Malaika does belly dance as 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' team bids farewell to Season 11 Sat, Mar 02, 2024, 04:06 PM
Jason Tham gained body mass to mature up for his 'Ranneeti: Balakot & Beyond' role Sat, Mar 02, 2024, 03:16 PM
7 tracks to get you grooving even before Ed Sheeran’s Mumbai concert Sat, Mar 02, 2024, 03:11 PM
NTR Jr meets Rishab Shetty, Prashanth Neel; shares 'Bangalore Diaries' pix Sat, Mar 02, 2024, 03:03 PM