What We Know About Wendy Williams’ Dementia And Aphasia Diagnosis – Health Digest

Primary progressive aphasia or PPA is, according to the Mayo Clinic, a rare nervous system condition that slowly damages the parts of the brain that regulate speech and language. It affects fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. There are different types of aphasia but all of them have to do with an impairment of language. PPA, in particular, is characterized by a slow but progressive inability to use language. When a progressive neurodegenerative disease is the cause of aphasia, doctors refer to this as primary progressive aphasia. 

Frontotemporal dementia or FTD affects the nerve cells in the brain’s frontal or temporal lobes (via Alzheimer’s Association). It’s considered an uncommon type of dementia and affects a person’s behavior, personality, language, and movement. Increasingly inappropriate social behavior, loss of empathy, loss of inhibition and judgment, and apathy are all symptoms of this condition. 

Williams was diagnosed with both conditions after “undergoing a battery of medical tests” in 2023, read the statement by her care team. The behavioral symptoms associated with both of these medical conditions often put people on the path of stigma and misunderstanding, according to the press release. “The decision to share this news was difficult and made after careful consideration, not only to advocate for understanding and compassion for Wendy, but to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia and support the thousands of others facing similar circumstances.”