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Kidney Problems Linked to Brain Disorders

Robert Preidt

Reduced blood flow likely to blame, researcher suggests.

When there’s something wrong with your kidneys, it could affect other important areas of the body – like the brain. At least that’s what one new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology is saying. This article from HealthDay explains how kidney problems may be linked to brain disorders, and why protecting the health of your kidneys may be more important than you think.

Kidney problems can increase the risk of brain disorders, a new study finds.

The findings suggest that protecting kidney health may also benefit the brain, the researchers said.

They studied data from more than 2,600 people in the Netherlands, and found that poor kidney function was strongly associated with decreased blood flow to the brain. They also saw an increased risk of stroke and memory and thinking problems (dementia) in people with kidney problems.

The association was independent of known heart disease risk factors, the researchers said.

The study was published Aug. 6 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“”Our findings provide a possible explanation linking kidney disease to brain disease,”” Dr. M. Arfan Ikram, an assistant professor of neuroepidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, said in a journal news release.

“”Also, given that kidney disease and (reduced blood flow to) the brain are both possibly reversible, there might be an opportunity to explore how improving these conditions can ultimately reduce one’s risk of developing brain disease,”” Ikram added.

The researchers also noted that the risk of brain disorders may not be limited to people with chronic kidney disease, but also likely extends to people with milder kidney disorders.