Urine test for kidney disease could also detect dementia
A STANDARD urine test that is used to detect kidney disease could also be used to identify those at risk of developing dementia.
According to a new study, adults who have a specific protein in their urine have a 35% higher chance of suffering from memory loss or even dementia in future than those that don't.
The presence of protein in a patient's urine is used by doctors as a sign of kidney disease, as the organ should naturally stop it from passing between the blood and urine.
It can be tested for with a simple and standard urine test.
Published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the study looked at all available studies on kidney problems and the development of cognitive impairment or dementia.
Author of the report, Dr Kay Deckers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands said: "Kidney dysfunction has been considered a possible risk factor for cognitive impairment or dementia.
"Chronic kidney disease and dementia share many risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, and both show similar effects on the brain, so they may have shared vascular factors or there may even be a direct effect on the brain from kidney problems.
"Protein in the urine was associated with a modestly increased risk of cognitive impairment or dementia," Deckers said.
"More research is needed to determine whether the kidney problems are a cause of the cognitive problems or if they are both caused by the same mechanisms."