Lastair Stewart was praised for his “eloquence” as he spoke about the symptoms of early-onset vascular dementia.
The 71-year-old former ITV News presenter, who retired from regular programming on GB News earlier this year after nearly five decades on the air, announced his condition on Sunday.
Alzheimer’s Research UK discussed the prevention of vascular dementia, risks, symptoms and the impact of stroke.
We don’t want there to be a stigma, we want people to support us, we need people to come forward
Stewart told British news program The Camilla Tominey Show that about six or nine months ago he felt “a bit confused” when he was struggling with timing and tidying up his shoelaces.
A scan revealed he had suffered a series of mild strokes and was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which affects around 180,000 people in the UK and means damage to blood cells.
Susan Mitchell, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, told the PA news agency: “We applaud Alastair’s ability to speak out and of course be eloquent about the impact it is having on his family.”
She also praised former GMTV host Fiona Phillips, who revealed her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, who said he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, making him more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Ms Mitchell said: “I think to say that this affects everyone… we need people to talk about it… we don’t want it to be stigmatized, we want people to support us, we need people to do that.” report.” .
“Some people don’t even come forward for a diagnosis because they don’t want to know.”
Stewart also told GB News that his wife Sally, with whom he has four children, was “almost relegated to a carer”.
Ms Mitchell told PA: “I think he articulated (the symptoms) really well and I would like to stress that of course every person has a different path, especially with vascular dementia. It depends on which part of your brain is experiencing this damage.”
“So the symptoms may be the idea of thinking slower, just taking a little longer, and I think that aligns with his point about the confusion — it can be really difficult to … process information, follow directions, maybe plan ahead.”
She added that people can have issues with movement, stability, finding the right words, and personality changes.
“So some of the symptoms could be consistent with a stroke, but some are also about… damage to your brain,” Ms Mitchell said.
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, this could be due to a temporary stroke, and sufferers may not realize they’ve had several before, and problems can arise, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Ms Mitchell said: “Whether it’s mild or severe (strokes) … (that) affects what symptoms you see, for example different parts of your brain are responsible for different activities.”
“So Alzheimer’s disease, which is sort of the main disease that causes dementia, occurs in a specific part of your brain where your memory is located…one of the classic symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss.
“With vascular dementia, it is possible that it has occurred in different locations. But again, we often find that it causes memory and thinking problems.”
Regarding prevention, Ms Mitchell said that “you can’t control it,” there is already a risk of stroke, and there’s a mix of “age genetics” and “health and lifestyle factors.”
She added: “Unfortunately, after one stroke there is a higher risk of another stroke. You can see some brain damage, then if you have many more strokes or a heart attack, further damage can occur.
“There is growing evidence that you can reduce your risk of developing all types of dementia, particularly vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Broadly speaking, the saying goes, what’s good for your heart is good for your brain…control high blood pressure, control cholesterol, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, drink sensibly, eat healthily.”
Alzheimer’s Research UK is working to develop new methods of preventing and diagnosing vascular dementia as there are no specific treatments available.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/alastair-stewart-sally-fiona-phillips-gb-news-chris-hemsworth-b1106074.html Alastair Stewart was praised for his “eloquence” when a charity spoke about the risk of vascular dementia