Children with chronic kidney disease are more likely to face problems related to attention, visual and verbal memory, besides their declining physical health, found a study. The study found that compared to children with mild-to-moderate stage kidney disease and with kidney transplants, children on dialysis had the lowest intellectual quotient (IQ) scores.
The children scored lower in tests of academic skills related to mathematics, reading and spelling.
Chronic kidney diseases in children can not only affect their physical health but also impact the neurocognitive function, academic performance and mental health, leading to long-term consequences in adulthood, the researchers noted.
"The study provides relevant information on the areas of need -- for example, working memory and mathematics -- for which children with chronic kidney disease may need guidance, practice and assistance, particularly for children on dialysis," said Kerry Chen, researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia.
"It also suggests hypotheses for why the overall intellectual and educational outcomes of children with chronic kidney disease are reduced compared with the general population, and how best to prevent deficits," Chen added.
For the study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the team included 34 studies involving over 3,000 chronic kidney disease patients under the age of 21 years.
The results showed that children with chronic kidney diseases had lower scores than the general population in executive function and memory domains, and they scored lower in tests of academic skills related to mathematics, reading, and spelling.
In addition, the global cognition IQ of children with chronic kidney diseases was classified as below-average.