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Renal-Cerebral Pathophysiology: The Interplay Between Chronic Kidney Disease and Cerebrovascular Disease



Cerebrovascular disease has increasingly been linked to overall vascular health. Pathologic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease have been shown to affect brain health and cerebrovascular and nervous systems. Acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) represent a variety of vascular insults that can adversely affect cerebral health. Hypertension, fluctuations in blood pressure, and diabetic vasculopathy are known risk factors for cerebrovascular disease associated with CKD. Other emerging areas of interest include endothelial dysfunction, vascular calcification due to calcium and phosphorus metabolism dysregulation, and uremic neuropathy present the next frontier of investigation in CKD and cerebrovascular health.


It has become apparent that the interrelation of AKI and CKD with vascular health, chemical homeostasis, and hormonal regulation upset many aspects of cerebral health and functioning. Stroke is an obvious connection, with CKD patients demonstrating a higher proclivity for cerebrovascular accidents. Cerebral bleeding risk, uremic neuropathies, sodium dysregulation with impacts on nervous system, vascular calcification, and endothelial dysfunction are the next salient areas of research that are likely to reveal key breakthroughs in renal-cerebral pathophysiology.


In this review nephrological definition are discussed in a neuro-centric manner, and the areas of key overlap between CKD and cerebrovascular pathology are discussed. The multifaceted effects of renal function on the health of the brain are also examined.


This review article aims to create the background for ongoing and future neurological-nephrological collaboration on understanding the special challenges in caring for patients with cerebrovascular disease who also have CKD.

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