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Blood sodium levels may affect cognition in older adults

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Scientists have found that lower level of in the blood - known as - is linked with declines in cognitive function with advancing age.

occurs when the level in the blood falls below 135 Millimoles Per Litre (mmol/L), according to a study published in of the American Society of Nephrology.

Mild was once thought to be asymptomatic, but recent studies suggest that it may be associated with higher risks of attention deficits, gait disturbances, falls, cardiovascular events, and even premature death.

"Slightly lower levels in the blood are likely to be unnoticed in clinical practice," said Kristen Nowak, from the Anschutz Medical Campus in the US.

"Because both slightly lower serum sodium levels and mild changes in cognitive function are common occurrences with advancing age, future research on this topic is important including determining whether correcting lower sodium levels affects cognitive function," Nowak said.

The researchers examined information on 5,435 asymptomatic community-dwelling men aged 65 years and above who were followed for a median of 4.6 years.

A total of 100 men had serum levels indicative of hyponatremia.

They found that slightly lower sodium levels in the blood were related to both and declines in cognitive function over time.

Compared with men with sodium levels of 141-142 mmol/L, men with levels of 126-140 mmol/L were 30 per cent more likely to have at baseline and 37 per cent more likely to experience cognitive decline over time.

They also found an association of high serum sodium (143 -153 mmol/L) with cognitive decline over time.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 11:20 IST