82-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer who couldn’t recognise son gets memory back after diet change


She failed to recognise her own son Mark Hatzer and even phoned the police accusing the nurses who were caring for her of kidnap

An 82-year-old sufferer of Alzheimer’s couldn’t recognise her own son – but now she has got her memory back after changing her diet.

According to our sister paper, The Manchester Evening News, pensioner Sylvia’s condition became so severe she had to be kept in hospital for her own safety. She failed to recognise her own son Mark Hatzer and even phoned the police accusing the nurses who were caring for her of kidnap. But then came a change in diet – and, with it, a miraculous improvement in her condition.

mum-sonNow, Sylvia eats a diet rich in blueberries and walnuts. She and Mark devised the diet – which also includes broccoli, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds, green tea and dark chocolate – together. The Alzheimer’s Society is now sharing their recipes. Mark, who lives in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, first noticed his 82-year-old mum’s forgetfulness three years ago. She would struggle to remember birthdays or arrangements she had made with friends. After this became increasingly frequent, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in December 2016.

The deterioration was fairly rapid. Alzheimer’s often has the side effect of epilepsy – and after a seizure and fall the following March, Sylvia was taken to North Manchester General Hospital. Here Mark, 50, ‘reached the lowest point of his life’ when his mum did not recognise him. Medics asked if Sylvia could be sectioned, as she had accused staff of kidnapping her. Although this was not necessary in the end, it was two months before it was considered safe for her to be discharged.

One year later and Sylvia, a former telephonist, is still at home and unrecognisable from this low point. She is held up by charity the Alzheimer’s Society as an example of how the disease can be – if not be completely beaten – arrested significantly. She can remember birthdays once more, goes to tea dances and can carry out much of her own care needs.

large part of the transformation is down to a diet and recipes that Mark and Sylvia devised together, containing walnuts, blueberries and other brain-boosting food. They decided that medication was not in itself enough, so took heed of the fact that rates of dementia are far lower in Mediterranean countries and copied their eating habits.

 Mark, whose brother Brent also died in 1977, said:

“When my mum was in hospital she thought it was a hotel – but the worst one she had ever been in. “She didn’t recognise me and phoned the police as she thought she’d been kidnapped. Since my dad and brother died we have always been a very close little family unit, just me and my mum, so for her to not know who I was was devastating. We were a double act that went everywhere together. I despaired and never felt so alone as I had no other family to turn to. Overnight we went from a happy family to one in crisis. When she left hospital, instead of prescribed medication we thought we’d perhaps try alternative treatment.

In certain countries Alzheimer’s is virtually unheard of because of their diet.Everyone knows about fish but there is also blueberries, strawberries, Brazil nuts and walnuts – these are apparently shaped like a brain to give us a sign that they are good for the brain.”



Alex Scapens

 22 APR 2018

Birmingham Mail – Birmingham live news


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