Vascular Mechanisms of Cognitive Impairment in Chronic Kidney Disease
Research Summary: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 30 million people in the U.S. and is independently associated with a 2-fold increased risk of cognitive impairment, especially vascular-mediated cognitive impairment. CKD causes disturbances in
the vascular compartment including higher levels of inflammation, hemostatic and endothelial activation biomarkers. We hypothesize that the pathophysiological processes that these biomarkers represent are implicated in the development of vascular
cognitive impairment via reduction in cerebral blood flow, and altered permeability of the blood brain barrier, leading to tissue damage. The proposed research will study participants in the REGARDS Study, a nationally representative biracial
cohort of 30,239 individuals followed for over 10 years with repeated cognitive assessments. Dr. Cheung will harness these rich longitudinal data to determine the trajectories of cognitive decline and to study the mechanisms of cognitive impairment
in those with CKD. She will study biomarkers of inflammation, hemostasis, and endothelial activation as mediators of cognitive impairment in CKD.