Faltering kidneys can hit mental processes involved in thinking, understanding, reasoning or remembering, according to a American study.
“The brain and kidney are both organs that are affected by the cardiovascular systems,” said Adam Davey, associate professor of public health in Temple’s College of Health Professions and Social Work, who led the study,
Researchers from the Temple, Maine and Maryland Universities examined longitudinal data, five years apart, from 590 people, according to a Temple statement.
What the researchers found was the greater a person’s decrease in renal functioning, the greater the decrease in overall cognitive functioning, particularly abstract reasoning and verbal memory.
“They are both affected by things like blood pressure and hypertension, so it is natural to expect that changes in one organ are going to be linked with changes in another,” says Davey.
“Those two tracked together, so this study provides us with evidence that the rate of cognitive decline is associated with deterioration in kidney function” adds Davey.
Davey said that this information emphasizes two important points: the importance of diagnosing and managing chronic kidney disease and the extent of decrease in cognitive functioning.
“As we get older, our kidney function tends to decrease naturally, so if there’s an extra issue involved in renal function like chronic kidney disease, we need to know about it as soon as possible,” he said.
“That is something that needs to be managed, just like you would manage hypertension.”