A 82-YEAR-OLD woman, whose dementia left her unable to recognise her own son, has miraculously got her memory back after changing her diet.

Sylvia Hatzer from Prestwich was diagnosed with the disease in 2016 following months of memory problems she attributed to old age.

The condition left her suffering from epileptic fits, and at one time she became so confused that she had to be kept in hospital for her own safety, as she failed to recognise familiar surroundings, family and friends, and even her son Mark.

However after adopting a carefully researched programme of healthy eating and cognitive exercises Mrs Hatzer has shown remarkable improvement, and is even set to meet the Queen.

Mr Hatzer, aged 50, who has lived with his mum since the deaths of his father Ken and older brother and Brent, said the diagnosis came as a devastating blow.

He added: “I was still quite young when my dad and brother died and it just left the two of us, so we’ve always been close. But overnight we went from being a happy family to a family in crisis."

Mrs Hatzer was initially placed on medication to slow down the diseases' effects, but despite showing improvements she knew it was only a stopgap.

Mr Hatzer said: “Fortunately mum responded well to the medication, but we were conscious that it would only slow the Alzheimer’s down, it was a temporary fix.

"It felt like we were trapped by an incoming tide and there was no way out."

After receiving advice from the Alzheimer's Society the pair decided to research alternative treatments, and soon noticed that certain countries have lower dementia levels than the UK.

Taking inspiration from southern European diets, they began an overhaul of Mrs Hatzer's eating — replacing processed, fatty and sugary food with brain-nourishing items including blueberries, walnuts, sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables.

Alongside the new diet, Mr Hatzer and a team of carers, who look after Mrs Hatzer while he is at work, ensured she continued to socialise and take part in stimulating activities including jigsaws, crosswords, reading, listening to music and gentle exercise.

After just a few months the small changes were beginning to make a big difference.

Mr Hatzer said: "We noticed she was more alert, more engaged, basically more like her old self

"Her cognitive tests were improving, as well as her general wellbeing, and the neurologist, the GP, these men of science and medicine had to agree that there had been an improvement.

"This time last year I was being called out to the hospital because she didn’t know where she was or who I was, but now she remembers names, places where she has been, what she has done, she is not losing things like before.

"We know there are no guarantees and it’s not a magic formula, but it has made a definite difference to my mum and could help lots of other people too."

Mrs Hatzer has now been invited to the Queen's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace this summer to celebrate her efforts which could help thousands affected by dementia.

Mr Hatzer said they were both overwhelmed by the invitation and want to share their experiences with as many people as possible.

He added: “So many people have got a friend or relative who has been affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia and you don’t realise how much support there is out there.

"I did this for my mum - she has got the condition and she has done all the hard work - but if what we’ve achieved can benefit other people as well then that’s great, it’s a win-win."

Mr Hatzer also praised Manchester law firm Slater and Gordon, which has rolled out new "brain-boosting" menus in the staff canteen.

Foods for living well with Alzheimer’s and dementia include:

Fish such as salmon or mackerel and other foods rich in Omega 3 oil or capsules if preferred, taken 2-3 times a day

Wholegrains, especially oats

Wholemeal bread


Sweet potatoes, carrots and swede

Leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach

Mushrooms, especially brown varieties

Nuts, especially brazils and walnuts

Berries, especially blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and preferably fresh, not frozen


Sunflower seeds

Herbs and spices

Tea, especially herbal and green teas, taken without sugar and with low-fat or no milk


Good quality dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70 per cent or more)