Kidney Dialysis May Cause Diffuse Brain Injury
Kidney dialysis can cause short time of brain concussion, and it may be associated with progressive brain injury in patients who have been treated for years. Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment for many kidney failure patients who wait for kidney transplants or those who are not candidates for transplants.
New research led by the university of Glasgow and published today in the journal of the American society of nephrology has demonstrated a link between short and long-term hemodialysis use and brain injury.
The study investigated about 100 patients who are on dialysis and they were tested cerebral blood flow. Also the cognitive function was measured during dialysis in each patient. The researchers found that blood flow to the brain decreased during dialysis, so did congnitive function.
The study also found that were still on dialysis were more likely to have progressive brain damage due to reduced blood flow during surgery. However, the most important is that patients who received kidney transplant and stop dialysis got some improvement in memory and verbal learning of brain function.
Although this group of patients often have congnitive disorder, scientists do not know the reason. As a result of the study, researchers now believe that reduced blood flow to the brain during dialysis may be responsible for long-term cerebrovascular disease.
Professor Patrick Mark of nephrology at the university of Glasgow said that “This is an important research. We believe that this study supports the current hypothesis. That is, dialysis is associated with progressive brain injury”. More importantly, we found that patients with certain form of congnitive disorder, both short or long term of dialysis, showed improvements in white matter and memory.
Cognitive impairment is common in hemodialysis patients, up to 70 percent of whom have hemodialysis. The incidence of cerebrovascular disease in patients with end-stage renal disease is 10 times higher than in the general population.
Dr Mark Findlay, from the university's institute of cardiovascular and medical sciences, said: "based on our results, early identification of those patients at highest risk may help limit their brain damage, which seems likely to be reversible for kidney transplants."
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