To detect the effects of hemodialysis (HD) on the central nervous system (CNS), the present study forces the memory storage capacity and the difference in white matter (WM) microstructure characteristics among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) participants before HD initiation (ESRD-BHD), ESRD participants with maintenance HD (ESRD-MHD), and healthy participants (HCs).
Between 2016 and 2018, 56 ESRD-BHD, 39 ESRD-MHD, and 56 HCs were recruited for this study. The fractional anisotropy (FA) of tractography streamlines within the working memory network was investigated using a novel along-tracts analysis method. The relationship between WM microstructure and working memory scores, measured from an n-back task, were detected by multiple correlation analysis.
As compared with HCs, a significantly lower FA was found along part of the WM in the working memory network in ESRD-BHD. In the group-difference location of ESRD-BHD and HCs, the FA of ESRD-MHD was reversed to normal levels in HCs. However, the FA in a new location was differentially reduced across groups: highest in HCs, intermediate in ESRD-BHD, and lowest in ESRD-MHD. Correlation analysis showed that a longer reaction time correlated to a lower FA, according to the following pattern: ESRD-BHD > ESRD-MHD > HCs.
Despite the persisting abnormal brain structure, our findings suggest HD has a neuroprotective effect in ESRD patients.

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.