Wendy Williams diagnosed with aphasia and dementia

Wendy Williams Lars Niki/Getty Images for New York Women in Film & Television
Wendy Williams Lars Niki/Getty Images for New York Women in Film & Television
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Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia (FTD,) per a press release statement from the former talk show host's team. “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 press release reads. “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 . . . 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.

“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself,” Williams' team 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.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia makes communication difficult and can affect a person's speech, writing ability, and understanding of spoken and written language. In March of 2022, Bruce Willis announced he would be stepping away from acting indefinitely after being diagnosed with the condition. FTD meanwhile creates atrophy of the frontal and temporal brain lobes, which can lead to personality changes, social impulsivity, and emotional changes. It is not the same as Alzheimer's disease or a mental health condition, Mayo Clinic added.

Williams is known for hosting "The Wendy Williams Show" from 2008 to 2021, ultimately leaving her show for numerous health concerns, including the autoimmune condition Grave's disease. The news of her dementia diagnosis comes ahead of the release of a two-part documentary, "Where Is Wendy Williams?" that is slated to premiere on Lifetime.