Dietary Sodium/Potassium Intake Does Not Affect Cognitive Function or Brain Imaging Indices.Am J Nephrol. 2018; 47(1):57-65.AJ
Dietary sodium may influence cognitive function through its effects on cerebrovascular function and cerebral blood flow.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of dietary sodium intake with cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults. We also evaluated the associations of dietary potassium and sodium:potassium intake with cognitive decline, and associations of these nutrients with micro- and macro-structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) indices. In all, 1,194 participants in the Health Aging and Body Composition study with measurements of dietary sodium intake (food frequency questionnaire [FFQ]) and change in the modified Mini Mental State Exam (3MS) were included.
The age of participants was 74 ± 3 years with a mean dietary sodium intake of 2,677 ± 1,060 mg/day. During follow-up (6.9 ± 0.1 years), 340 (28%) had a clinically significant decline in 3MS score (≥1.5 SD of mean decline). After adjustment, dietary sodium intake was not associated with odds of cognitive decline (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.50-1.84 per doubling of sodium). Similarly, potassium was not associated with cognitive decline; however, higher sodium:potassium intake was associated with increased odds of cognitive decline (OR 2.02 [95% CI 1.01-4.03] per unit increase). Neither sodium or potassium alone nor sodium:potassium were associated with micro- or macro-structural brain MRI indices. These results are limited by the use of FFQ.
In community-dwelling older adults, higher sodium:potassium, but not sodium or potassium intake alone, was associated with decline in cognitive function, with no associations observed with micro- and macro-structural brain MRI indices. These findings do not support reduction dietary sodium/increased potassium intake to prevent cognitive decline with aging.