Kidney disease measures are associated with structural brain damage across different domains of etiology

Cross-sectional analysis shows association of reduced kidney function and increased urine albumin excretion with brain volume reduction in regions typically affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia etiologies.

Cognitive decline is a major public health issue and common in patients with kidney disease. To better understand this condition, researchers measured kidney function and albuminuria in 1,527 study participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. The participants were also scanned for different types of brain damage using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In results published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD), they found that low kidney function and albuminuria are associated with various structural brain pathologies such as brain atrophy, microvascular damage, and white matter defects.

These results confirm the connection between kidney function and albuminuria with brain damage and provide new information about its etiology and localization in the brain.