A study sheds light on the link between chronic kidney failure and increased risk of stroke.
- Chronic renal failure has been identified as a risk factor for cerebrovascular accidents (CVA).
- According to researchers, the link between kidney failure and stroke stems, among other things, from the presence of a mixture of toxins from intestinal bacteria.
- The mixture of toxins would be likely to promote the appearance of vascular lesions and microhaemorrhages in the brain.
Chronic kidney failure is an insidious disease that affects a growing number of people. This pathology, which often progresses silently, has been identified as a risk factor for cerebrovascular accidents (CVA). However, the relationship between them has until now been poorly understood. Neurology and nephrology experts at the University of California Irvine (UCI) have revealed the first clear link between chronic kidney disease and increased risk of cerebral hemorrhage. Their results were published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.
The link between kidney failure and stroke explained
By studying mice with chronic kidney disease, scientists have found that this disease contributes to the development of stroke, independent of blood pressure. A mixture of toxins from gut bacteria – which builds up when the kidneys malfunction – can cause vascular damage and microhemorrhages in the brain. A gender difference was also observed: males were more at risk than females.
“The effects of chronic kidney disease are associated with impaired blood-brain barrier, caused by uremic toxins and microglia (the brain’s immune cells). We know that inflammatory cells in the brain play an important role in how chronic kidney disease causes stroke, but we need to understand this relationship in more detail”explained Dr. Wei Ling Lau, professor of nephrology at the UCI School of Medicine, in a communicated. “It remains to be seen whether simply treating kidney disease by itself will improve brain health”he added.
Taking care of your kidneys for brain health?
“Observations have shown that people with advanced kidney disease have a higher risk of stroke, suggesting that we may ultimately improve brain health by reducing kidney disease.“, estimated Dr. Mark Fisher, professor of neurology at the UCI School of Medicine and also author of the test.
Although their results still need to be refined by additional work, the researchers therefore call on people with kidney failure to be particularly vigilant and to follow their doctor’s advice to reduce complications such as stroke.