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Your thinking and reasoning may take place in your brain, but researchers have found there’s a pair of organs whose health may be crucial to retaining your mental capacity.
Those organs are your kidneys. When kidney function suffers, so does your ability to reason and remember.
“The brain and kidney are both organs that are affected by the cardiovascular systems,” says the study’s lead author, Adam Davey, associate professor of public health in Temple’s College of Health Professions and Social Work. “They are both affected by things like blood pressure and hypertension, so it is natural to expect that changes in one organ are going to be linked with changes in another.”
In a five-year study of about 600 people, scientists from Temple, University of Maine and University of Maryland found that as renal function faltered, so did people’s cognitive abilities.
“As we get older, our kidney function tends to decrease naturally, so if there’s an extra issue involved in renal function like chronic kidney disease, we need to know about it as soon as possible,” says Davey. “That is something that needs to be managed, just like you would manage hypertension.”