Laura Hokkanen

Professor, PhD

Clinical neuropsychologist

Principal Investigator in RECOVID, PLASTICITY, and Heads in the Game

Publications and activity in the

I am teaching in the bachelor and master programs of psychology. Currently on my responsibility are the courses Muisti ja muistihäiriöt kliinisen neuropsykologian näkökulmasta (Memory and memory impairments from the clinical neuropsychology perscpective) and Kliinisen neuropsykologian ilmiöt ja interventiot (Phenomena in clinical neuropsychology). I am also supervising theses on all levels: bachelor’s, master’s, licentiate and doctoral.

My main responsibility is to act as the chair of the clinical neuropsychology specialization training program for post-graduate students.

Over the years my research threads have included neuropsychological phenomena in both acquired and developmental disorders.

  • Neuropsychological sequelae in acute encephalitis: research project at the Helsinki University Central Hospital with both a prospective consecutive series and retrospective series of patients with acute encephalitis of different kinds, a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and neurological and neuroradiological data. Often Herpes Simplex virus type 1 -encephalitis is presented as the sole example of acute encephalitis in textbooks, which may be misleading since it is very different from those more commonly encountered in clinical practice.
  • Assessment of dementia and the CERAD neuropsychological battery: My first ever published article in 1988 was about Blessed Dementia Scale, a screening tool for dementia. As the population is ageing, the topic has never lost its wide societal relevance. With several colleagues we translated and adopted for Finnish use the CERAD neuropsychological battery. The project was not only scientific but involved a nationwide effort in training psychologists in the proper use of the method. CERAD is now commonly used in screening of memory diseases.
  • Adult Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder in Finland- project DyADD: In a project with Marja Laasonen as the PI we compared adult subjects with either dyslexia, ADHD or both using traditional neuropsychological methods as well as experimental tasks. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the shared and unshared features in these two developmental deficits.
  • The Perinatal Adverse events and Special Trends in Cognitive Trajectory PLASTICITY: In a longitudinal cohort study, subjects born between 1971 and 1974 with predefined birth risks have been followed in order to understand the association between the birth events and cognitive development. The cohort includes subjects with developmental deficits such as ADHD, dyslexia, motor coordination deficit and perceptual deficits with higher frequency than normal population.
  • Sports concussion assessment protocols in Finland: Sports concussions present a distinct subgroup of traumatic brain injuries. In Finland few guidelines in the concussion management have existed. In the project we developed methods, collected normative data and implementing protocols for ice hockey, both junior and championship level. Heads in the Game was a project for junior ice-hockey concussion management.
  • Most recently the SARS-COV- epidemic that impacted everyone also resulted in a research project of the cognitive and health consequences of COVID-19. The project, RECOVID-20, was started in collaboration with the Hospital district of Helsinki and Uusimaa, especially the Intensive Care units.