Learn about Aphasia and Frontotemporal Dementia Following Wendy Williams’ Diagnosis

Wendy Williams’ care team said Thursday that the 59-year-old has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

In a press release, Williams’ team stated that they shared the news to “correct inaccurate and hurtful rumors about her health.” In 2023, Williams was diagnosed with the condition after undergoing “a battery of medical tests.”

“Over the past few years, questions have been raised at times about Wendy’s ability to process information, and many have speculated about Wendy’s condition, particularly when she began to lose words, act erratically at times, and have difficulty understanding financial transactions,” according to the press release.

Aphasia is a language and communication impairment, while frontotemporal dementia is a degenerative illness that disrupts behavior and cognitive functioning. Aphasia is associated with damage to the left side of the brain and is frequently an indication of another medical condition, such as a stroke, head accident, or tumor. The most prevalent cause is brain injury after a stroke, however, the etiology of frontotemporal dementia is unknown. Frontotemporal dementia, unlike other varieties of dementia, develops at a younger age, between 40 and 65 years. Frontotemporal dementia is frequently mistaken as a mental health disorder or Alzheimer’s disease.

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration defines Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) as a kind of frontotemporal dementia characterized by a gradual loss of ability to talk, read, write, and understand others.

According to the statement, the diseases have “already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life.”

“As Wendy’s fans are aware, in the past she has been open with the public about her medical struggles with Graves’ Disease and Lymphedema as well as other significant challenges related to her health,” her team said elsewhere in the statement.

“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,” the statement also said.

“Unfortunately, many individuals diagnosed with aphasia and frontotemporal dementia face stigma and misunderstanding, particularly when they begin to exhibit behavioral changes but have not yet received a diagnosis.”

Despite her health, Williams’ team reported that the 59-year-old is still capable of performing numerous tasks independently. “Most importantly she maintains her trademark sense of humor and is receiving the care she requires to make sure she is protected and that her needs are addressed,” the statement went on to say.

Williams expressed gratitude for the support she has been receiving. According to TODAY.com, Wendy Williams’ health was revealed just two days before her new Lifetime documentary, “Where Is Wendy Williams?” will be broadcast.

Williams, whose talk show was discontinued in 2022 after 13 seasons, will discuss allegations about her health in a documentary including her family.

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