Lower Dementia Risk In Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Who Initiated Peritoneal & Not Hemodialysis

Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients particularly those on Dialysis, do not know that they are at a heightened risk of Cognitive Impairment (brain disorder in which thinking abilities are mildly impaired) and Dementia. While the reasoning for why Chronic Kidney Disease patients suffer with Cognitive Impairment and Dementia is not completely understood, two major factors are clear: (1) Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and (2) toxin buildup. 

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Hypertension is very common in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community and is unfortunately also a leading cause of brain dysfunction. Chronic Kidney Disease patients may not realize that sustained High Blood Pressure permanently changes the architecture of the blood vessels including the ones that supply the brain; making vessels narrow, stiff, deformed, uneven, and less effective. Moreover, the uremic toxins which buildup in the body naturally due to impaired or failed kidneys also contribute to mental decline. 

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New research from the Medical College of Wisconsin found that Dialysis also plays a key role in a Chronic Kidney Disease patient's mental sharpness. Published by Renal and Urology News, researchers found that, "those who started on Peritoneal Dialysis had a 25% decreased risk of dementia compared with those who started on Hemodialysis, after adjusting for age, gender and other potential confounders (other variables of interest)." 

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Mental side effects are at times overlooked when discussing Dialysis. However, they are of critical importance as the International Society of Nephrology reported, "Cognitive impairment is a major cause of morbidity (additional underlying disease) in people with Chronic Kidney Disease and is associated with worse survival." 

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The largest study of its kind, “emphasizes the need for clinicians to regularly assess cognitive function among persons undergoing Dialysis,” suggested Lead Researcher, Dr. Dawn F. Wolfgram. However, Chronic Kidney Disease patients including those on all types of Dialysis can help improve their health outcomes as well as survival by bringing signs of reduced cognitive abilities and Dementia to the attention of their Healthcare Team. Indicators include: Memory loss, impaired judgment, difficulties with abstract thinking, faulty reasoning, inappropriate behavior, loss of communication skills, disorientation to time and place, as well as gait, motor, and balance problems. Researchers stated that early recognition of Dementia may improve Chronic Kidney Disease patients' outcomes.

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References:

"Dementia Risk Lower in Peritoneal Dialysis Initiators."Http://www.renalandurologynews.com. Renal and Urology News.

"Cognitive Disorders and Dementia in CKD: The Neglected Kidney-Brain Axis." Http://jasn.asnjournals.org/. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

"Comparison of Dementia Risk between End Stage Renal Disease Patients with Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis - a Population Based Study."Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group.

"Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease Are at an Elevated Risk of Dementia: A Population-based Cohort Study in Taiwan." Http://www.researchgate.net/. Research Gate.