Bladder problems may result in changed patterns of brain activity, which cause sleeping and other problems, according to new research published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists constricted the outlet of urine from rats' bladders in order to mimic the effect of an enlarged prostate gland in humans and found persistently high levels of activity in the cortex part of the brain.
In people, unusually high levels of activity in that region of the brain can lead to problematic sleeping patterns and difficulties with concentration or anxiety.
Research leader Dr Rita Valentino, of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said: "We often tend to focus on just one organ, but here we see how an abnormal organ affects the whole organism."
She went on to say that further research is needed to explore the links between excessive brain activity and certain behaviours.
A separate study recently published in the online European Heart Journal suggested a link between coronary heart disease and cognition.
It found coronary heart disease was associated with lower levels of performance in mental processes and verbal skills.
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