Alastair Stewart vascular dementia diagnosis: What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?

The journalist was diagnosed with vascular dementia after having a series of strokes.

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Former newsreader Alastair Stewart has disclosed his dementia diagnosis after having a series of strokes. The journalist, 71, said he started to feel “discombobulated” about six to nine months ago.

He said: "I wasn't becoming forgetful but things like doing your shoelaces properly… making sure your tie was straight, remembering that the call time for your programme is four o'clock and not five o'clock, not turning up early or late, and stuff like that."

Stewart told GB News that a diagnosis of vascular dementia was made after a series of minor strokes. The NHS estimates that one in 11 people in the UK aged over 65 have dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a disease in itself, but rather a collection of symptoms that damage the brain caused by different diseases. These can result in diseases such as vascular and Alzheimer’s.

What are the early symptoms of dementia?

There are several early symptoms to look out for in dementia. The most common early symptoms, according to the NHS, are:

  • Loss of memory

  • Difficulty in concentrating

  • Difficulty carrying out familiar daily tasks, like confusion over the correct change when shopping

  • Struggling to follow conversation or in finding the right word

  • Confusion over time and place

  • Mood changes

What is vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia following Alzheimer’s. It is possible to have mixed dementia – both vascular and Alzheimer’s.

There are symptoms specific to vascular dementia, which include:

  • Stroke-like symptoms – muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body

  • Movement problems – walking difficulties or a change in how a person walks

  • Thinking problems – difficulty paying attention, planning and reasoning

  • Mood changes – a tendency to become more emotional and depressed