Wendy Williams has frontotemporal dementia and aphasia, deputies say

Former daytime talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and aphasia, which makes it difficult or impossible for a person to express or understand language, according to a statement from her rep.

Ms. Williams, 59, who hosted “The Wendy Williams Show” on Fox for more than a decade, was officially diagnosed last year “after undergoing a battery of medical tests,” according to a statement released Thursday.

Tests showed Ms Williams had primary progressive aphasia, a type of frontal lobe disorder, her representatives said, adding that she was receiving the medical treatment she needed.

“Over the years, questions have sometimes been raised about Wendy's ability to process information.” The report said“Many have speculated about Wendy's condition, particularly when she began to lose her words, sometimes acted erratically and had difficulty understanding financial transactions.”

This Saturday's “Where's Wendy Williams?” The report was released before the premiere. A Lifetime Network two-part documentary about Ms. Williams.

According to the documentary, Ms. Filming was halted in April when Williams entered a care facility. People magazine reported on Wednesday. Ms. Williams' son, Kevin Hunter Jr., says in the documentary that doctors attributed her cognitive problems to alcohol consumption, People reports. Ms Williams' family told PEOPLE that only her court-appointed legal guardian had “unfettered” access to her.

Ms. Williams' sister, Wanda Finney, told PEOPLE that Ms. Williams' family did not know which center she was in. They couldn't call him, but Ms. Williams said they could.

In May 2020, Ms. Williams took a hiatus from her talk show due to exhaustion from the autoimmune disorder Graves' disease. said in a statement At the time. He hosted the premiere of the following season September 2020But health issues prevented him from returning for the next season, and the show used guest hosts before it was cancelled. In 2022.

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Williams' representatives said they were making the announcement about her condition “not only to show understanding and compassion for Wendy, but also to raise awareness about aphasia and aphasia and support the thousands of people facing similar situations.”

Frontotemporal dementia is the most common type of dementia in people under the age of 60. Actor Bruce Willis' family announced in February 2023 that he was diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy.

Primary progressive aphasia is a type of frontal lobe disorder that affects people's ability to speak and communicate.

“Dementia doesn't sound like the way people typically think of that word,” said Dr. Sami Parmada, a neurologist at Michigan Medicine. With primary progressive aphasia, people may struggle to find the right words.

“They might be talking and then all of a sudden they'll pause — you can see them trying to get the words out,” Dr Parmada said.

Saying “thingy” instead of “remote control” can replace patients when they can't find the words. Sometimes, patients may find it difficult to follow conversations, especially in groups, and understand what people are saying around them. The condition progresses slowly over time, and there are few treatment options.

A statement from Ms Williams' representatives said she “could do a lot more for herself”.

“Most importantly, he maintains his trademark sense of humor and receives the care he needs to ensure he is protected and his needs are addressed,” the statement said. “She appreciates the many kind thoughts and well wishes sent her way.”

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