Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia and Aphasia

Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia and Aphasia

Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, her team shared in a statement on Thursday.

Williams was diagnosed last year following medical testing. The conditions of aphasia, which affects language and communication abilities, and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a progressive frontal lobe disorder that impacts behavior and cognitive functions, “have already presented significant hurdles in Wendy’s life,” her team said. There are currently no treatments for FTD, though researchers are working to better understand the disease and its causes.

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Williams’s team shared the news publicly in an effort to bring awareness to the conditions. “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,” Williams’s team said in the statement. “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.”

Williams made a name for herself as the host of The Wendy Williams Show from 2008-2021. She stepped down from the show following medical issues, and has been open in the past about struggling with Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disorder, and Lymphedema, a long-term condition in which fluid collects in tissues and causes swelling. 

The announcement comes ahead of the premiere of a two-part documentary about the host’s life, titled Where Is Wendy Williams? The documentary will air on Lifetime on Feb. 24 and 25, and will provide a look into her life following the end of her talk show. 

“Wendy is still able to do many things for herself,” the statement said. “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.”

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