stroke hospitalizationChronic kidney disease is associated with increased signs of brain aging and is a predictor of cognitive decline years after stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.

There has been little research on the relationship between chronic kidney disease and post-stroke declines in brain function, such as memory and learning.

In a study of 462 people who had mild to moderate ischemic strokes or TIAs, researchers found decreased renal (kidney) function is associated with markers of small vessel disease in the brain and cognitive decline. In fact, those who had decreased renal function at hospital admission were 40 percent more likely to develop cognitive impairment two years following stroke than were people with normal kidney function at admission.

Chronic kidney disease may contribute to accelerated brain aging and post-stroke cognitive decline, suggesting a new target for early intervention, researchers said.