Published: 24-06-2013 00:00 | Updated: 13-02-2014 13:47

Alzheimer's researcher receives the 2013 Skandia Lennart Levi Prize

Miia Kivipelto, professor of clinical geriatric epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet, is to receive the 2013 Skandia Lennart Levi Prize.

Professor Kivipelto works at KI's Alzheimer Centre and at the Aging Research Center (ARC). She is to receive the prize for her research into dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, which has indentified several treatable risk factors and thus provided a more optimistic outlook for the prevention and treatment of these diseases.

Professor Kivipelto has demonstrated that high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, overweight, a lack of exercise, and a high intake of saturated fats and alcohol are factors that increase the risk of dementia.

Professor Kivipelto's research group examines how environment and heredity interact to impair memory. She is in charge of several epidemiological and clinical projects and is engaged in collaborative projects with colleagues in Sweden and Finland. She initiated the Nordic Brain Network cooperation forum, which has helped to increase the resources available to the research field and improved the exchange of information on the ageing brain and related disorders.

"Miia Kivipelto's research is extremely important, particularly now when more and more people are living longer," says Professor Nancy Pedersen, chair of the award committee. "Dementia affects not only the sufferers, but also their families and society in general. Prophylactic work in this field is therefore a major challenge to future public health and the public economy."

The Skandia Lennart Levi Prize for health-promotive research was established to mark the 80th birthday of Lennart Levi in 2010 and is to be awarded annually over a period of five years. The candidates are to be internationally outstanding researchers active in Sweden or abroad. The recipients are selected by a panel comprised of professors from Karolinska Institutet. The prize is for SEK 100,000 and will be awarded at Karolinska Institutet's installation ceremony on 24 October 2013.