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.

Image of Incidence and Trajectory of Cognitive function in CKD Chart
Project Director: 

Photo of Project Director Katharine Cheung, M.D., Ph.D.

Katharine Cheung, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor  
Department of Medicine- Nephrology, Tenure-track

Mentor Team:

Senior Mentor
Michael LaMantia, MD

Senior Mentor
Marilyn Cipolla, PhD

Peer Mentor
Julie Dumas, PhD

External Mentor
Jennifer Manley, PhD