What is aphasia? Bruce Willis is 'stepping away' from acting after diagnosis

What is aphasia? Bruce Willis is 'stepping away' from acting after diagnosis

Bruce Willis' decision to end his acting career of more than four decades after a recent aphasia diagnosis has put a spotlight on the somewhat rare disorder.

Bruce Willis' decision to end his acting career of more than four decades after a recent aphasia diagnosis has put a spotlight on the somewhat rare disorder.

Aphasia describes a neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate verbally or through writing.

Aphasia describes a neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate verbally or through writing.

Willis' daughter Rumer Willis posted Wednesday on Instagram that the condition has affected her father's "cognitive abilities."

Willis' daughter Rumer Willis posted Wednesday on Instagram that the condition has affected her father's "cognitive abilities."

"As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," the post said.

"As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," the post said.

Willis, an Emmy-winning actor and the star of hit movies like "Die Hard" and "The Sixth Sense," turned 67 this month.

Willis, an Emmy-winning actor and the star of hit movies like "Die Hard" and "The Sixth Sense," turned 67 this month.

Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more areas of the brain that deal with language, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more areas of the brain that deal with language, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Other times, Boxer said, aphasia can develop gradually with the growth of a brain tumor, a neurological disease or an infection.

Other times, Boxer said, aphasia can develop gradually with the growth of a brain tumor, a neurological disease or an infection.

Boxer said a neurologist will focus on "what we can fix," such as a vitamin B-12 deficiency or a thyroid imbalance that might be contributing to the condition.

Boxer said a neurologist will focus on "what we can fix," such as a vitamin B-12 deficiency or a thyroid imbalance that might be contributing to the condition.

Once the cause is identified and treated, the patient works with a speech therapist to regain as much speech as possible.