Kaisu Pitkälä, MD, PhD, is working as a professor at the university of Helsinki and as a chief physician at the Helsinki university central hospital. She is specialist of geriatrics, general internal medicine and family medicine. She has been involved in several professional appointments in the field of geriatrics: she has been the president of the Finnish Geriatrics Society, vice president of the Finnish Gerontological Society and vice president of the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing Society. She is the board member of Finnish Alzheimer Research Society.
Her main research interests are in geriatrics, particularly comprehensive preventive or rehabilitative approaches among frail older people. She has conducted nine randomized controlled trials examining effectiveness of various comprehensive interventions on frail older people: dementia, delirium, loneliness, malnutrition, disability, and cardiovascular risk factors. In the field of dementia she has investigated several preventive and rehabilitative approaches. Comprehensive geriatric assessment and tailored treatment proved to be effective in improving cognition and quality –of-life among patients suffering from delirium. She conducted a trial among lonely older people showing that socially stimulating activities may improve their cognition. In addition, a case coordinator and tailored treatment for dementia couples was shown to be effective in postponing institutionalization of patients with dementia. At the moment she is conducting a large randomized trial examining effectiveness of intense, long-lasting physical exercise among home-dwelling Alzheimer’s patients.
Last Updated: Tuesday 27 July 2010