Neuropsychological functioning in end-stage renal disease

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Aims:To compare the neuropsychological functioning and behaviour of children with non-syndromic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and sibling controls.Methods:The study was carried out at two tertiary care paediatric teaching hospitals, in Halifax and Vancouver, Canada. Children with ESRD were on a renal transplant waiting list and either pending dialysis or on dialysis therapy. Twenty two patient-sibling pairs were evaluated. Neuropsychological assessments consisting of measures of intelligence, academic achievement, memory, and motor abilities were carried out. Maternal ratings of behaviour and self-report rating of self-esteem were collected.Results:The Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQs of patients with ESRD were significantly lower than the IQs of the sibling controls. The mean differences were 8.6, 11.7, and 10.9 points, respectively. ESRD patients also had significantly more difficulty on measures of fine motor coordination and ability to copy geometric designs than sibling controls. There were no differences between groups on measures of academic achievement, memory, behaviour, or self-esteem.Conclusions:Although children with ESRD exhibited mild deficits on measures of intelligence and some measures of motor abilities, their neuropsychological outcome was more favourable than earlier reports indicated.

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