Rush University logoA study which was conducted at Rush University Medical Center claimed that damaged kidney function may be a threat issue for cognitive decline in old age. This study discovered that poor kidney function may be associated especially with cognition which is linked to memory functions.

Damage to one of these functions like periodic memory, which recovers past memories of time, place, connected emotions and other related knowledge, may often be the initial indication of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Given the dearth of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, these results have important public health implications. Further work to understand the link between kidney function and the brain may provide new strategies for preventing memory loss in elders” commented, Dr. Aron Buchman, a neuroscientist in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Buchman mentioned that the findings apparently propose that there are general disease processes that may affect both the brain and the kidneys in the elderly. They supposedly assumed the primary vascular problems like diabetes and hypertension. This may provide explanation about the alliance between kidney problems and cognitive decline.

Data of about 886 older adults were apparently examined. These people took part in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a group of community-dwelling seniors with an average age of 81. They were all apparently, at first, free of dementia. The participants were analyzed once a year for up to six years to supposedly spot changes in cognition over time. Cognitive assessments apparently incorporated several tests which were summed up as a composite measure of overall cognition and of about five individual cognitive abilities.

Visuospatial ability; perceptual speed, or the capability to swiftly and precisely compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures or patterns; semantic memory, connected to meaning, understanding and other concept-based knowledge; working memory, which may momentarily hoard and influence information; and episodic memory are believed to be the individual cognitive systems which were evaluated.

Ruling out the influence of issues such as aging and medications, which could affect cognition, the experts found that poor kidney function, which was apparently evaluated at the start of the study, was associated with a swifter rate of decline in cognition over the next several years. This cognition apparently affected episodic, semantic and working memory and not visuospatial ability or perceptual speed

Buchman mentioned that the rate of decline in cognition was apparently corresponding to that of a person who may be seven years older at baseline.

This study was published in the medical journal Neurology.