Cognitive decline related to chronic kidney disease as an exclusion factor from kidney transplantation: results from an international survey

Authors: Michele Farisco, Inga A Blumblyte, Casper Franssen, Dorothea Nitsch, Irene Zecchino, Giovambattista Capasso, Gaye Hafez, COST CONNECT Action Collaborators

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Background and hypothesis
There seems to be a lack of consensus on the necessity and the modality of psychological and specifically cognitive assessment of candidates for kidney transplantation. Both points are often delegated to individual hospitals/centres, whereas international guidelines are inconsistent. We think it is essential to investigate professionals’ opinions to advance towards a consistent clinical practice.

Methods
This paper presents the results of an international survey among clinical professionals, mainly nephrologists from the CONNECT (Cognitive decline in Nephro-Neurology: European Cooperative Target) network and beyond (i.e. from personal contacts of CONNECT members). The survey investigated their opinions about the question of whether cognitive decline in patients with chronic kidney disease may affect their eligibility for kidney transplantation.

Results
Our results show that most clinicians working with patients affected by chronic kidney disease think that cognitive decline may challenge their eligibility for transplantation despite data that suggest that, in some patients, cognitive problems improve after kidney transplantation.

Conclusion
We conclude that three needs emerge as particularly pressing: defining agreed-on standards for a multifaceted and multifactorial assessment (i.e. including both clinical/medical and psychosocial factors) of candidates with chronic kidney disease to kidney transplantation; further investigating empirically the causal connection between chronic kidney disease and cognition; and further investigating empirically the possible partial reversibility of cognitive decline after kidney transplantation.

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Fifth Call for Short-Term Scientific Mission

Fifth Call for Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) applications within the COST Action “Cognitive decline in Nephro-Neurology: European Cooperative Target (CONNECT)” Deadline for submission: April 13th, 2024

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