Bizarre warning signs of dementia REVEALED as Bruce Willis’ wife shares tragic update on his diagnosis


It is a cruel disease that blights the lives of millions of people across the world.

After Hollywood actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with the incurable disease earlier this year, MailOnline shares some of the stranger early symptoms that can occur.

What is frontotemporal dementia (FTD)?

The 68-year-old Die Hard star has frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which can affect behaviour and language. It’s one of the least common forms of dementia, accounting for just 2 per cent of diagnoses.

Alzheimer’s is the most widespread type of dementia — making up three in four cases.

FTD tends to strike earlier than other forms — like Alzheimer’s.

What are the warning signs of Alzheimer’s?

Giving out money

Giving out cash to strangers could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s.

That is according to research by USC and Bar-Ilan University in Israel, which linked financial altruism to the first stages of the disease.

The study tested the theory on 67 adults around the age of 70.

The participants were put in pairs with people they had never met, and were given $10 (£8) to distribute between themselves and the other.

Neurological tests were given to the participants to judge their cognitive state and their potential risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

The results, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggested those who were at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s were also more willing to hand out money to the person they had never met.

Changes to humour

Starting to watch slapstick comedy classics like Airplane and Mr Bean could be another sign of Alzheimer’s.

According to the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2015, people with the disease start to prefer slapstick jokes nine years before typical dementia symptoms begin to show.

READ ALSO: Bruce Willis ‘misfired guns on Hard Kill movie set in 2020 and asked crew what he was doing during’

It also found people with FTD were more likely to find tragic events funny, or laugh at things others would not find funny like a badly parked car or barking dog.

These changes in humour in could be caused by the brain shrinking in the frontal lobe, researchers say.

Dressing scruffy

Making fashion disasters, struggling to piece together clothes that match and wearing things that are not weather-appropriate could be another sign of Alzheimer’s.

The study, published in Sociology of Health and Illness in 2018, focused on 32 people in three care homes and 15 regular home sin Kent.

Researchers interviewed 28 care homes staff, 29 family carers and relatives to find out how you should dress people suffering with dementia.

More symptoms of dementia

Melissa, a family carer who was quoted in the study, said: ‘I’ve never seen my dad scruffy. Never. Until that day I turned up in the home and he’s sitting there in screwed up clothes which really hurt me because I’m not used to that – not at all.’

Carers also said it was difficult to dress people with more advanced dementia because they need encouragement and assistance guiding their arms.

Bad parking

The memory-robbing condition can make Alzheimer’s patient’s bad at driving.

The study, published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy in 2021, suggested those with the disease were more likely to drive slowly and made sudden changes in direction.

The team used the findings to craft a model that predicted if people had Alzheimer’s based on their skills behind the wheel.

The model correctly guessed whether someone had the disease in nine out of 10 cases.


Having no filter and swearing in inappropriate situations could be another warning sign.

The study, published in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology in 2010, asked 70 patients to name as many words as they could think of beginning with letters ‘f’, ‘a’ and ‘s’ in a minute.

They also found that six of the 32 dementia patients said the swear word when asked to list words for ‘f’, and more said the word ‘s**t’ for ‘s’.

Having no filter

Just like swearing, as Alzheimer’s patients’ brains change, they start to have no filter.

How they act and what they say can degenerate in many cases.Undressing in public, being rude and talking to strangers are all signs of the disease, according to experts.

Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘These situations can be very confusing, distressing, shocking or frustrating for someone with dementia, as well as for those close to them.’

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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