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Approved Research

A study of the impact of physical exercise and activity level on cognitive function, and associated MRI brain changes, in chronic kidney disease.

Principal Investigator: Professor Indranil Dasgupta
Approved Research ID: 63941
Approval date: November 8th 2021

Lay summary

Cognitive impairment (reduced brain functioning) is more common in people with kidney disease than in those without it. We know that people who have cognitive impairment do not engage well with the healthcare system, have a poorer quality of life and are more likely to die early.

Being physically active is known to improve brain function in the general population. Research has shown some benefits of physical exercise in people with severe kidney problems who are on dialysis treatment. However, this has not been studied in detail in those with less severe forms of kidney disease. By studying the effects of physical activity on brain function in people with kidney disease, we may find a new treatment to help to prevent and slow down cognitive impairment in those with kidney disease.

In this study we aim to;

  1. Find out how common cognitive impairment is in those with kidney disease in the UK Biobank study population.
  2. Find out if there is a relationship between physical activity level and cognitive function in those with kidney disease.
  3. Find out if people with lower physical activity levels and kidney problems are more likely to develop cognitive impairment and die than those who have higher activity levels. 
  4. Find out if we can see where and what type of damage in the brain occurs in these people, by looking at MRI brain scans, and assess relationship with physical activity. This may also help us to better understand what processes are involved in this damage.

5.           Find out what other factors might be involved, such as risk factors for heart disease and inflammation (body's response to infection or injury), in cognitive impairment in people with kidney disease.