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A. Olubunmi Ogunrin, Evelyn I. Unuigbe, Chuks Azubuike
Med Sci Monit 2006; 12(12): CR535-539
Background: With the increasing prevalence of chronic renal failure among the indigenous African population, coupled with the emphasis on improvement in the quality of life, there is a need for reports on the cognitive functioning and the effect of the disease on the cognitive performance of affected individuals.
Material/Methods: Sixty consecutive non-dialyzed Nigerian patients with clinical and biochemical evidence of chronic renal failure and sixty healthy age-, sex- and education level-matched controls (volunteers) were studied using an automated neuro-psychological test battery (FePsy) to assess their memory and perceptuo-motor skills.
Results: The chronic renal failure patients performed worse in both verbal and visual memory than controls (p0.05), but their perceptuo-motor speed was retarded (p<0.001). The levels of creatinine (p<0.01) and urea (p<0.01) and the presence of hypertension (p<0.05), asterixis (p<0.05), exertional dyspnea (p<0.05), and vomiting (p<0.05) affected their memory performance, with creatinine level being the most potent variable (p=0.0015).
Conclusions: The results of this study confirm the presence of cognitive impairments in Nigerians with chronic renal impairment and buttress the importance of its aggressive and prompt management.