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Bruce Willis’s diagnosis sees 2023 web spike in interest in rare dementia

‘Bruce Willis effect’ – Die Hard star’s diagnosis sees 2023 web spike in interest in rare dementia.  The UK’s leading dementia charity has revealed a surge in people reading up about one of the less common types of dementia this year – the same condition that Bruce Willis was diagnosed with.

Alzheimer’s Society has revealed information on frontotemporal dementia was viewed more than 126,000 times in 2023. That is a rise of nearly 63% from 2022.

The family of Hollywood A-lister Bruce announced in February he has the less common form of dementia, the first symptoms of which are often changes to personality and behaviour, and difficulties with language.

The charity reported at the time that it saw a 12,000% spike in visits to its website when compared with the same period the previous week.

The global interest in his condition, along with Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Fiona Phillips announcing her young-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis and exciting news about disease modifying treatments, helped drive an overall increase in visitors to the charity’s website this year.

Following news that Fiona Phillips was living with dementia, Alzheimer’s Society’s website saw a 76% spike in visits when compared with the same period the previous week. The announcement also led to a 59% increase in online donations to the charity.

Tragically, the most visited page of 2023 was for people who want to know how to recognise and support people with dementia who are reaching the end of their lives, with more than 661,000 views of the page.

Figures also revealed today show that interactive and printable online versions of the charity’s free symptoms checklist, endorsed by the Royal College of GPs, were viewed nearly 200,000 times in 2023, supporting people to get a vital diagnosis which can allow them to access support and treatments.

A blog by Research Communications Manager Siân Gregory explaining the science behind potential game-changing new Alzheimer’s treatments also had users glued to their screens. The page looking at the progress being made as we reach a tipping point in dementia research was amongst those people spent the most time reading.

Dementia Support Forum

More people than ever before are turning to Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Support Forum for help, having its biggest year for sign-ups to be part of the online community since its launch 20 years ago.

There are now over 86,000 members but thousands more visit the forum to view the conversations taking place, which has led to more than 4.5 million views of the Dementia Support Forum’s pages in 2023 alone.

Some of the most viewed include:

• Discussion about memory tests

• Queries about registering for Lasting Power of Attorney

• Questions around care homes

Alex Hyde-Smith, Director of Income and Engagement at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We know our website and Dementia Support Forum are a vital source of support to the 900,000 people in the UK living with a dementia diagnosis and those who love and care for them.

“Alzheimer’s Society provides help and hope, supporting people affected by dementia through some of the hardest and most frightening times. We are proud to provide an online place for them to turn in their time of need.

“Alzheimer’s Society’s website provides a wide range of resources and practical expert advice for anyone who needs it, and we have seen more people wanting to join the Dementia Support Forum than ever before to get involved in the community. Being able to connect with others with similar experiences to ask for advice, read their stories, share helpful information and offload about concerns can bring incredible comfort.

“Too many face dementia alone. We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society.”

Alzheimer’s Society vows to help end the devastation caused by dementia. The charity is calling for donations to its ’12 Days of Christmas’ appeal so it can continue to provide vital support to those who need it most. Visit

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