Days of our Lives

Martha Madison Opens Up About Heartbreaking Family Illness

Days of Our Lives Martha MadisonDays of Our Lives Martha Madison

Days of Our Lives star Martha Madison is marking Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week by sharing important information about the disease that has affected her family.

The beautiful actress wants to help others understand this particular form of dementia and how it differentiates from other forms. What better way to share information to a wide audience than to start a thread on Twitter… which is exactly what she did.

“The frontal lobes of the brain control functions like behavior, concentration and emotion. The temporal lobes are where we process speech and words,” she began.

“In general, FTD is when the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain begin to atrophy (ie: waste away/degenerate). Initial symptoms include changes in speech/word recall and “out of character” behavior. FTD is not Alzheimer’s.”

The reason this disease is so important to Madison is that it hits close to home. Her own mother was diagnosed with it and she’s never held back from explaining the effect it’s had on her and her family.

In fact, Madison moved her family to Texas and commutes to LA for acting work so she can take care of her mother.

Her honesty about it all inspires others who have a family member dealing with it so they don’t feel so alone.

“This is my beautiful mother. She had her first FTD symptoms at 50, was formally diagnosed at 58 and is now 66 years old. She also has MS and is still living her life with strength and dignity,” she shared, along with a picture of her and her mom.

“If you have a family history of FTD, there is genetic testing to determine whether you carry the gene. It’s difficult to diagnose. Like Alzheimer’s, a definitive diagnosis can only be made post-mortem. The process of diagnosis often begins by eliminating other diagnoses.”

While her mother remains an inspiration, Madison is well aware that the more people know about this, the more likely they will seek out help faster and to that, she also made the following offer.

“Feel free to share your stories here as well. Knowledge is power and community is essential.”

You can read more of what Madison had to say in the tweets below.

Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.

Video Credit: DOOL

Video Credit: Hope Gmyrek

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