Research on memory disorders improves therapies and quality of life

Hundreds of thousands of Finns suffer from memory disorders or challenges related to information processing. Research promotes the early detection of diseases and identification of risks.

What are your research topics?

I investigate a range of memory disorders and problems associated with information processing, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease and normal-pressure hydrocephalus, a rarer condition.

Memory disorders are more common among the elderly population, but people of working age can have problems with information processing as well. The underlying cause of such problems is not always a memory disorder. Instead, they can stem from mood problems, intoxicants or sleep disorders.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact? 

Nearly 200,000 Finns have a dementia-level memory disorder, which significantly impacts their ability to manage their life, their quality of life and the life of their families. A corresponding number of Finns have mild problems with information processing.

The early detection and treatment of memory problems and other problems related to information processing delays the development of more severe problems, also postponing the need for care. In fact, developing new and better techniques for identifying, at an early stage, the risk for memory disorders and the disorders themselves is important.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

Right now, I am inspired by novel research methods in molecular biology and the increasing amount of knowledge, for example, on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease.

I am particularly interested in neuroinflammation, or an inflammatory state within the brain, associated with several brain diseases, as well as the connections between the intestine and the brain. It will be interesting to see whether influencing the regulation of the inflammatory response of the brain will become a new mode of treatment for memory disorders.

Anne Koivisto is the professor of memory disorders at the Faculty of Medicine.

Watch Anne Koivisto's inaugural lecture as a new professor on the 7th of September on YouTube.

Read about the other newly appointed professors here.