A recent study published in the Journal of the America Society of Nephrology (JASN) reports that kidney injury may decrease blood flow to the brain, ultimately leading to dementia or stroke. Maintaining optimal kidney functioning is thus essential for a healthy striving brain.

Establishing The Link Between Kidney Disease And Brain Damage

Dementia and stroke are common occurrences in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease as compared to healthy individuals – the cause of this discrepancy remains unclear. To investigate a possible link between kidney functioning and brain health, M. Arfan Ikram, MD, PhD and Sanaz Sedaghat, MSc (Erasmus University Medical Center, Netherlands) along with colleagues examined data from 2,645 participants in a population-based Rotterdam study. The researchers observed kidney function and blood flow to the brain.

It was found that there was a strong connection between optimal kidney function and blood flow to the brain. Kidney impairment was seen to cause hypoperfusion – reduced blood flow to the brain – which was strongly associated with dementia and stroke.

The findings were independent of cardiovascular risk factors. Moreover, it was observed that the kidney-brain link was not only prevalent in those with chronic kidney disease – the general population (without observable kidney impairment) is also at risk.

Possibility Of Reversa: Injury To Kidneys Affect Blood Flow To Brain

“Our findings provide a possible explanation linking kidney disease to brain disease”, Dr Ikram pointed out. However, since kidney disease and hypoperfusion are both possibly reversible, he claims that there might be strategies to improve these occurrences, reducing the risk of developing brain disorders.