Actor Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia, his family said.
In a statement on social media, they said it was “a relief to finally get a clear diagnosis”.
Last spring, the 67-year-old man was diagnosed with aphasia, which causes difficulty speaking, but it progressed and he was given a more specific diagnosis, the family said.
They expressed their “deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love.”
The family went on to say that frontotemporal dementia is the most common form of dementia in people under the age of 60.
“There is currently no cure for this disease, and we hope that this reality may change in the coming years,” the statement said.
Willis rose to fame in the 1980s and 90s after starring in blockbusters such as Peanuts, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon and Pulp Fiction.
He was also nominated for five Golden Globes (one won for Moonlight), as well as three Emmys, of which he won two.
But his family said last year that Willis would give up acting because his aphasia affects his cognitive abilities.
A new statement Thursday said they hope the media attention will raise awareness of the actor’s condition.
It said: “Bruce has always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and raise awareness of important issues both publicly and privately.
“We know deep down that – if he could today – he would want to respond by bringing the world’s attention and reaching out to those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it affects so many people and their families “.
The statement was signed by Willis’ family members, including his wife Emma Heming, with whom he has two daughters, and his ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters.
American journalist Maria Shriver, a well-known campaigner for the treatment and research of patients with brain disorders, wrote on Twitter: “My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family, and my gratitude for shedding light on this disease.
“When people step forward, it helps us all. When people are diagnosed, it’s extremely difficult to get a diagnosis, but for most it’s a relief.”
Aaron Paul, who starred in US crime drama Breaking Bad, said Willis was “such a bloody legend”, adding: “I love you so much mate!”
American singer and actress Queen Latifah wrote on Instagram: “God bless you my brother, we love you!!! All the best. Thanks to you and your family for all the entertainment!!!”
Actress Selma Blair, who has multiple sclerosis, simply wrote: “Sending love.”