Dialysis is basically a purification process of the blood with the help of specially programmed machines when the kidneys get compensated/malfunctioning and won’t be able to perform fully.

Dementia is a gradual loss in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills which may affect an individual’s ability to perform the day to day activities. This is the most common neurological concern in elderly (aged 65 and above).

Does Dialysis also increase the Risk of Dementia?

  • Older the age, the higher the risk of dementia, especially if they’re kidney disease patients and/or undergoing dialysis.
  • Cognition or the process of thinking, identification and understanding of knowledge tends to get affected as the age progresses. On top of that, when there’s a predisposition of kidney disease (requiring dialysis) it tends to worsen even more.
  • Although the exact cause between kidney disease and brain function alterations isn’t pinpointed yet, as per the researchers, poor blood flow in the brain in kidney disease patients is likely to be the culprit.
  • There is a gender predisposition as well, as studies have found women (25%) are slightly at higher risk of developing dementia, after initiating dialysis, compared to men (21%). However, the actual disease process (i.e. end-stage renal disease) requiring dialysis is evidently higher in men.
  • There are ongoing researches in this field, and although it may seem unclear there’s sufficient evidence that cognitive deterioration, mainly loss of working memory, planning, focus, and self-control begins during the early phases of chronic kidney disease and worsens further as the dialysis begins.
  • Dialysis also decreases blood pressure, which again is an independent risk factor for developing dementia.
  • Hispanic and Afro-American CKD patients, undergoing dialysis, are found to have almost twice the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s than that of Caucasians. This could be due to more obesity, higher risk of diabetes as well as less access to healthcare.
  • Diabetes is an independent risk factor in developing Kidney diseases in the long run, resulting in dialysis, so it needs to be checked on a routine interval. For any further queries, you should always Ask A Doctor
  • Obesity is another preventable but rising risk factor for developing diabetes as well as chronic kidney diseases, so it needs to be checked every now and then.

To Summarize

  • Higher age-group is a risk factor for developing dementia, but when it combines with chronic kidney disease and dialysis, the risk increases even more
  • Continuous large group oriented clinical research is necessary to determine the outcome in these ever-changing disease process
  • Dialysis causes low blood pressure itself, so careful monitoring of these patients undergoing dialysis is of extreme importance, in any case, you should Ask A Nephrologist
  • The biggest culprit behind developing the end-stage renal disease is Diabetes, so a regular screening, as well as good blood sugar control is necessary
  • Obesity is another preventable risk factor which is on the rise forever, regular screening, proper lifestyle modification with good dietary control as well as physical activities is necessary to prevent this. In case of any further queries you should Ask A Doctor.

At Health Care , we’ve dedicated 24×7 service of Nephrologists. Medical emergency of any form is almost always a time dependant matter, so in case of any further queries, feel free to contact Ask A Doctor for any kind of Medical assistance.
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