Former news presenter Alastair Stewart has revealed he has been diagnosed with dementia after suffering a series of strokes.
The 71-year-old journalist, who has appeared on TV screens for almost five decades, said he started feeling “uncombulated” about “six to nine months ago” and therefore went to see his doctor.
Stewart said: “I wasn’t being forgetful, but things like doing your shoelaces properly… making sure your tie was straight, remembering that the call time for your program is at four o’clock and not five o’clock, not meeting early or late and things like that.”
He also said that his “very short-term memory is difficult” and “motor skills [are] very tricky”.
Stewart told GB News that scans revealed he had had a major or minor stroke, which led to a vascular diagnosis. dementia.
Dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain and has symptoms such as thinking and concentration problems.
One in 11 people in the UK over the age of 65 have dementia, according to the NHS.
The veteran broadcaster said he has quit smoking, goes for long walks with his dogs and does crossword puzzles all in an effort to improve his physical and mental health.
Stewart said the thing he had found “hardest to deal with” was the effect on his wife of 43 years, Sally, saying she had been reduced “almost to a carer”.
He said she had to make sure he was ready before he turned up for the interview and that his “tie was done properly”.
Alzheimer’s Research UK chief executive Samantha Benham-Hermetz said: “Our thoughts are with Alastair Stewart and his family following the news that he has vascular dementia. We applaud Alastair’s brave decision to share his diagnosis publicly and raise awareness, while we encourage others to seek help if they have their own concerns about dementia.
“By speaking so openly and honestly about his experience, we hope this will bring further focus to the desperate need to find new treatments for all forms of dementia.”
Despite being the second most common form of dementia, behind Alzheimer’s disease, there are currently no treatments for the syndrome, which affects around 180,000 in the UK.
Stewart, who spent more than 35 years at ITN, joined GB News in 2020 but announced his retirement in March.
Stewart and his wife have four children together and live in Hampshire.