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Fiona Philips reveals she has Alzheimer’s

Fiona Philips

Fiona Phillips has revealed she is living with Alzheimers and taking part in a trial which could potentially slow down how the illness progresses.

The TV presenter was diagnosed with the condition 18 months ago after experiencing brain fog and anxiety.

Phillips said the form of dementia runs in the family, her mother, father, grandparents and uncle were all diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

The 62-year-old told the Daily Mirror: “This disease has ravaged my family and now it has come for me.

“And all over the country there are people of all different ages whose lives are being affected by it – it’s heart-breaking. I just hope I can help find a cure which might make things better for others in the future.”

Phillips, who co-hosted GMTV in the late 1990’s, added:  “It’s something I might have thought I’d get at 80. But I was still only 61 years old. I felt more angry than anything else because this disease has already impacted my life in so many ways; my poor mum was crippled with it, then my dad, my grandparents, my uncle. It just keeps coming back for us.”

She hopes by going public with her story it will raise awareness and break down stigma associated with the illness.

“There is still an issue with this disease that the public thinks of old people, bending over a stick, talking to themselves,” Phillips said. “But I’m still here, getting out and about, meeting friends for coffee, going for dinner with Martin and walking every day.”

Trials for drugs which aim to slow down the condition are taking place at University College hospital in London.

Phillips is taking a drug called Miridesap, which she injects three times a day. The drug is in its third year of being assessed, but half of the people on the trail are unknowingly being prescribed a placebo version.

The presenter’s husband, This Morning editor Martin Frizell, said they “don’t know if Fiona is on the real drug or a placebo”.

He added: “It’s been weeks now and I like to think her condition is stabilising but I am too close to know really; that could just be my wishful thinking.”

Phillips added: “But even if it isn’t helping me, these tests will be helping other people in the future so I just have to keep going.”

[ For advice and support on Alzheimer’s visit the Alzheimer’s Society website ]

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