82-year-old woman's dementia improved after she overhauled her diet, her son says
Mark Hatzer, a 50-year-old lawyer from Manchester area, was extremely upset when his 82-year-old mom Sylvia stopped recognizing him. Sylvia had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in December 2016 and the disease had been progressing fast.
In March 2017, Sylvia had a seizure and collapsed. She was taken to North Manchester General Hospital, where she became agitated and tried to call the police, thinking she was kidnapped.
Mark was at a loss. What could he do to bring his mom back? Sylvia was discharged from the hospital in two months, and that’s when her life started to change.
With her son’s help and supervision, Sylvia changed her diet completely. Mark did some research and learned about brain-friendly diets, so he thought his mom could benefit from them. And she did.
Sylvia started eating plenty of berries, especially blueberries, leafy greens, and nuts, including walnuts, and colorful vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and a little dark chocolate as a special treat.
She also started to socialize more and do some cognitive exercises, such as crosswords and jigsaws. On top of that, she started to walk more.
All of these things improved Sylvia’s condition. Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Mark said:
It wasn’t an overnight miracle but after a couple of months she began remembering things like birthdays and was becoming her old self again, more alert, more engaged.
People think that once you get a diagnosis your life is at an end. You will have good and bad days but it doesn’t have to be the end.
For an 82-year-old she does very well, she looks 10 years younger and if you met her you would not know she has gone through all this.
What is Alzheimer’s disease and can it be reversed with the right diet?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. According to the National Institute on Aging, as many as 5.5 million Americans older than 65 may have Alzheimer’s. The institute’s website also states that Alzheimer’s is irreversible.
Although there’s no proven way to undo the damage that the disease has already caused, its progression can be slowed down, at least to some extent. Also, some factors can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, one of which is diet.
There are some promising studies showing that a good, balanced diet can cut the risk of age-related cognitive decline by as many as 35%. Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the best diets for brain health and cardiovascular health.
The MIND diet isn’t getting too much attention, but it’s also beneficial. Here are a few features of this diet:
- The diet is focused on fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens, and whole grains.
- Nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, and fresh berries, especially blueberries, count as a good, brain-friendly snack.
- Olive oil is the go-to oil, if you follow the MIND diet.
- Being a great source of protein, beans (such as kidney beans and lima beans) are a must.
Although we don’t know enough about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to come up with a way to prevent them, but we can do our best to reduce the risk. Switching to a brain-friendly diet certainly won’t hurt.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.