In a brave and candid revelation, renowned television presenter Fiona Phillips has shared that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The 62-year-old host, known for her decade-long stint on the ITV programme GMTV, has embarked on clinical trials for a promising new drug that researchers hope could potentially slow down or even reverse the progression of the illness.
A Family History of the Disease
Phillips disclosed that she received the devastating diagnosis 18 months ago after experiencing months of brain fog and anxiety. Tragically, Alzheimer’s has already taken a toll on her immediate family, affecting her mother, father, uncle, and grandparents.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Phillips shared her determination to make a difference: “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 heartbreaking. I just hope I can help find a cure which might make things better for others in the future.”
Challenging Stigma and Seeking a Cure
By publicly discussing her diagnosis, Phillips aims to challenge the existing stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. She hopes that her participation in the clinical trial will contribute to groundbreaking advancements in Alzheimer’s treatment.
Phillips emphasized the need to dispel misconceptions about the disease: “There is still an issue with this disease that the public thinks of old people, bending over a stick, talking to themselves. But I’m still here, getting out and about, meeting friends for coffee, going for dinner with Martin and walking every day.”
Promising Clinical Trials
The clinical trials for potential Alzheimer’s drugs are currently taking place at University College Hospital in north-west London. Phillips herself is participating in the assessment of a drug called Miridesap, which is administered three times a day using small needles. The drug, along with several others being studied at University College London Hospitals Trust, is undergoing rigorous evaluation for any potential side effects or safety concerns.
While half of the trial participants are receiving a placebo, Phillips and her husband, Martin Frizell, remain hopeful that she is receiving the real drug. Frizell expressed his optimism, sharing, “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 remains determined, stating, “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.”
The revelation of Fiona Phillips’ battle with Alzheimer’s disease serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of raising awareness, challenging stigma, and supporting ongoing research efforts to find a cure for this devastating condition.