Decreased kidney functioning reduces cognitive skills

Weak kidneys reduce your abilities of abstract reasoning and verbal memory, suggests new study

Letters A,B,C,D,E in a jumble
Forgetting words? Could be your kidneys’ weakness

Primarily the kidney’s function is to remove toxins from the body and maintain the body’s chemical balance. Many medical conditions can be caused if this functioning diminishes—blood pressure and hypertension being the most commonly known. However, a unique study conducted by Temple University suggests, decreased kidney function is associated with decreased cognitive functioning in areas such as global cognitive ability, abstract reasoning and verbal memory.

This is the first study describing change in cognitive functioning in order to determine which specific abilities are most affected in individuals with impaired renal function.

These researchers examined longitudinal data, five years apart, of 590 people to see how much kidney function had changed during that time period, and to what level their cognitive functioning had changed. They were not only interested in the overall change but also in specific abilities such as abstract reasoning and verbal memory.

Greater a person’s decrease in renal functioning, the greater the decrease in overall cognitive functioning, particularly abstract reasoning and verbal memory.

So, this study provides evidence that the rate of cognitive decline is associated with deterioration in kidney function. The scientists could not emphasise more on the importance of diagnosing and managing chronic kidney disease as one gets older. Also, it is imperative particularly for patients to take their medicine on time and without assistance, as well as understand the information that their physician is sharing with them about their disease.



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