Many Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis realize that they suffer with 'brain fog' making day-to-day life difficult. Well, now researchers have found the likely cause of the mental fogginess and it may be more serious than previously thought.
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Dialysis can cause, what researchers call, Short-Term 'Cerebral Stunning' and may be associated with progressive brain injury in those who receive the Dialysis Treatment for many years. What this ultimately means for many Dialysis patients awaiting a Kidney Transplant, those not suitable for a transplant or have decided against getting a Kidney Transplant, is that they are at higher risk of Cognitive Impairment. This is concerning because Cognitive Impairment can cause a Dialysis patient to have trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Therefore, the mental fogginess that patients are experiencing after Dialysis Treatments are not chance events, they are directly linked to the treatment itself.
Cognitive Impairment is very common in Dialysis patients - with up to 70% found to have it. That is 10 times more common than those in the general population who do not conduct Dialysis. In more detail, Researchers suggested that direct blood flow to the brain was reduced during Dialysis Treatments and that patients' Cognitive Function was also decreased as an apparent result. The study also found that those patients who remained on Dialysis for longer periods of time were more at risk of progressive brain injury due to reduced blood flow during their treatments. However, those who had a Kidney Transplant and no longer needed Dialysis saw an improvement in memory and verbal learning brain functions.
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Many become embarrassed and don't want to interact with others as a result of not feeling as sharp as they once did. While getting off of Dialysis is the best way to avoid long-term effects of Cognitive Impairment, that is not an effective solution for most Dialysis patients since the Transplant Waiting List is 5 to 7 years long. Still, brain fogginess is nothing to be ashamed of and staying physically and socially active is essential to help slow the progression of cognitive decline. Light exercises, gardening or simply taking a walk after dinner can help protect your brain. Patients can also ask their physicians for an exercise program that best fits their needs.
What's more, if you find that you are feeling increasingly foggy, then use visible and/or accessible reminders. Useful strategies include writing notes to yourself, posting a large calendar to track appointments, leaving messages to yourself on your answering machine, using an automatic dispensing pillbox, and setting the alarm on a mobile device to remind you of upcoming events. Keep your mind active doing things that you enjoy: Work on puzzles, read the newspaper, play cards, listen to music, write in a journal, learn about something new.
Do not let these findings derail your great progress as a Dialysis patient. Focus on your present abilities and avoid worrying about what might happen in the future. Know that there are many ways to live an active and productive life. Continue to visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly for additional tips and insights.
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How do you maintain your mental sharpness? Your insights could be very helpful to other patients so share your responses with the nearly 90,000 friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (click here). Also, consider following the nearly 250,000 monthly visitors on KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.