Alzheimer`s Disease/Alzheimer's and dialysis


My mother is 91 and has had Alzheimer's for several years. In August her kidneys stopped working and now she is on dialysis. My older sister believes she heard Mama's nephrologist state that dialysis makes Alzehimer's worse. Is this true? Does dialysis make Alzheimer's disease worse? Mama does seem more hyper after dialysis treatments.

Hello Nancy:  I'm sure it's very hard for you and your family to have to watch your mother endure those treatments at her age.  It's not just the dialysis that is causing a change in her cognition.   Everything in the body will affect the brain in some way, so as her body is accumulating toxins because her kidneys aren't working, she will become more confused until the toxins are cleared away.  When she has dialysis, even though the toxins are being removed, they must add some fluids and medications necessary to keep her blood safe during the dialysis and these too, can affect the brain.  As far as it making the AD "worse" I'm not sure that would be an accurate statement.  I don't know for sure if it has a long-lasting effect on the course of the AD--that would be a good questions to ask the nephrologist.  The toxin build-up and then the removal process will create changes in her brain, but I don't know if those changes would make the AD worse.  I wish I could help more Nancy, and I wish you luck as you help your mother through this stage of her dementia. Cindy  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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