HealthDay News — Children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may have deficits in global and domain-specific cognition, according to a review published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Kerry Chen, from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, and colleagues searched for observational studies of children with CKD aged 21 years or younger that assessed neurocognitive or educational outcomes. A review was done to examine global and domain-specific cognition and academic skills. Data were included from 34 studies (25 cross-sectional with 2095 participants and 9 cohort with 991 participants).

The researchers found that the children with CKD had low-average global cognition (full-scale intelligence quotient [FSIQ]). The mean differences in FSIQ were −10.5 for all CKD stages, −9.39 predialysis, −16.2 for dialysis, and −11.2 for transplant compared with the general population. Children with mild-to-moderate stage CKD and kidney transplants scored 11.2 and 10.1 FSIQ points higher, respectively, in direct comparisons with children on dialysis. Children with CKD also had lower scores in executive function and memory domains compared with the general population. The mean differences in academic skills varied from −15.7 to −1.22 for mathematics, −9.04 to −0.17 for reading, and −14.2 to 2.53 for spelling compared to children without CKD.

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“Children with CKD may have low-average cognition compared to the general population, with mild deficits observed across academic skills, executive function, visual and verbal memory,” the authors write.


Chen K, Didsbury M, van Zwieten A, et al. Neurocognitive and educational outcomes in children and adolescents with CKD: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online February 22, 2018]. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. doi:10.2215/CJN.09650917