Cognitive performance in dialysis patients - "when is the right time to test?"

Published on Jun 2, 2021in BMC Nephrology1.913
· DOI :10.1186/S12882-021-02333-X
Hristos Karakizlis (University of Marburg), Stefanie Thiele (University of Marburg)+ 1 AuthorsJoachim Hoyer34
Estimated H-index: 34
(University of Marburg)
BACKGROUND Cognitive impairment in chronic kidney disease, especially in end stage renal disease, is a public health problem. Nevertheless, the cause of chronic kidney disease still remains unclear. A prevalence of cognitive impairment in patients with end stage renal disease of up to 87% has been found. METHODS The study at hand deals with the research on the - potential - effect of timing on cognitive performance when testing cognitive impairment in hemodialysis patients during the dialysis cycle. We tested cognitive performance with a neuropsychological test battery (RBANS, Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) on two occasions while patients were on dialysis as well as on a dialysis-free day. In addition, all participants were rated using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and several demographic and clinical variables were recorded in order to investigate their possible influence on cognitive performance. The patients were recruited in three dialysis centers in the central region of Hesse, Germany. Twenty-six participants completed the 3 testings during a period of 6 weeks. The testing was carried out in the dialysis centers. RESULTS Looking at the total scale score, patients achieved the best cognitive performance in the RBANS during the first 2 h on dialysis with 81.1 points. When comparing the scores of the three measurement occasions (first 2 h, Timepoint 1 vs. last 2 h, Timepoint 2 vs. dialysis free day, Timepoint 3, however, no significant difference in the total scale score was detected. But patients showed significantly better cognitive performance in language in the first 2 h (p < 0.001) as well as in the last 2 h (p < 0.001) compared with the dialysis-free day. CONCLUSION Due to the high prevalence of cognitive impairment, there is an increasing need to assess cognitive function in dialysis patients. Our data show that the time point of testing (first 2 h on hemodialysis vs. last 2 h on hemodialysis vs. Hemodialysis free day) had no influence of cognitive function in hemodialysis patients in routine indications.
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