Link Found Between CKD And Dementia But This Preemptive Action Can Benefit CKD Patients

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"Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) was strongly associated with the incidence of dementia independent of age, sex, education, and other vascular risk factors," stated a 2011 study published in the American Geriatrics Society and released on the online journal, Medscape. Although the reasons are not obvious, results of the study support previous findings that suggest a relationship between CKD and the onset of cognitive decline and dementia. However, two brand new studies indicate the possibility of detecting Alzheimer's early when specialists can effectively intervene with life saving nerve medications. CKD patients may greatly benefit from new findings.

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A study published in Neurology journal from the University of Pittsburgh found that in a group of 91 people with no signs of dementia, those with more hardening arteries were more likely to have amyloid plaques (an insoluble protein) in the brain which when built up, is a strong indicator of  Alzheimer’s. “Compared to people who had low amounts of amyloid plaques and brain lesions, each unit of increase in artery stiffness was associated with a two- to four-fold increase in the odds of having both amyloid plaques and a high amount of brain lesions,” said Timothy Hughes, the lead author of the study. The build-up of amyloid plaques can be determined with a simple and painless blood-test.  

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Reported in the same issue of Neurology, those with more tau protein than amyloid in their spinal fluid were found to be more likely to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and the more quickly the ratio of tau to amyloid increased, the sooner symptoms of memory loss occurred. Researchers based at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine believe that their more involved spinal fluid test can also diagnose Alzheimer's risk early so proactive treatment can be enacted immediately. 

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Because Alzheimer’s is characterized by the deposition of amyloid plaques in the brain, the results support the idea that as the disease progresses, less amyloid is released into the spinal fluid, and more remains in the brain, where it compromises nerve function. Detecting when plaque build-up starts to form may be critical in controlling, and eventually curing Alzheimer’s, since current drugs, which are started once memory loss occurs, may be used too late. By intervening earlier in patients who are still cognitively sound but actually in the first stages of the neurodegenerative disease, these medications may become more effective.

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Already, new guidelines released by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging in 2011 recommend that scientists adopt blood-based and spinal fluid-based tests to look for Alzheimer’s earlier in research studies so these methods can be validated for use in the clinic. With more groups testing these strategies for early detection it will not likely be long before they become a part of routine care for identifying Alzheimer’s patients such as those with CKD very early in their disease and take immediate corrective action. If you suspect that you may be affected with any early stages of cognitive disorders such as acute memory loss then recommends that you discuss available testing with your Nephrologist so that early treatment can be prescribed.

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Sifferlin, Alexandra, and Alexandra Sifferlin. "Early Warning: Detecting Alzheimer’s in the Blood and Brain Before Memory Loss |" Time.

 Sasaki, Yumi, MSc, Ricardo Marioni, PhD., Mari Kasai, PhD., Hiroshi Ishii, MD, PhD., Satoshi Yamaguchi, MD, PhD., and Kenichi Meguro, MD, PhD. "Chronic Kidney Disease: A Risk Factor for Dementia Onset." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society .



"Scientists Detect Alzheimer’s In Patient’s Blood | UA Magazine." UA Magazine.