Wendy Williams diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, frontotemporal dementia

Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, according to a press release from the former talk show host and her medical team.

Williams, who hosted The Wendy Williams Show for more than a decade, has been open in the past about her health conditions, which included Graves’ disease and a thyroid condition.

She was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia in 2023, and those diagnoses have “enabled Wendy to receive the medical care she requires,” 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,” the press release noted.

“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself,” the press release continued. “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.”

Primary progressive aphasia is a neurological syndrome that slowly impacts language capabilities, according to the National Aphasia Association. Primary progressive aphasia it is caused by the “deterioration of brain tissue important for speech and language,” not a stroke or brain injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dementia is an umbrella term used to describe an impairment of a person’s ability to “remember, think or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities. Though dementia mostly affects older adults, the CDC notes it’s “not a part of normal aging” and projects there will be as many as 14 million people with dementia by 2060.

Frontotemporal dementia is the most common form of dementia and is caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain, according to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. There is currently no known cure.

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