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Wendy Williams diagnosed with dementia, aphasia


Impacting motor, cognitive functions

Former talk show host Wendy Williams’ medical team has announced that she has been diagnosed with a pair of cognitive disorders–primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.

“Aphasia, a condition affecting language and communication abilities, and frontotemporal dementia, a progressive disorder impacting behavior and cognitive functions, have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life,” according to a statement released by the 59-year-old Williams’ “care team.”

Actor Bruce Willis was diagnosed with the same conditions last year.

“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,” according to the statement. “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.”

The concerns led to a battery of tests last year, leading to the diagnoses. The statement credits the work of specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself,” according to the statement. “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. She is appreciative of the many kind thoughts and good wishes being sent her way.”

The public announcement of her condition comes on the heels of a People magazine report this week that a legal guardian has been appointed by a court to oversee Williams’ affairs while she undergoes treatment. Lifetime had scheduled for Feb. 24-25 a two-night documentary series that follows Williams from the time her daytime talk show was canceled in June 2022 until she was admitted for treatment last year.