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Alex Berg (

The current project that I am working on currently at the UEF Law School addresses the Legal Rights of Older Immigrants and Immigrants with Dementia in Finland.

The legal rights of older immigrants and immigrants with dementia have not been researched extensively globally. In Finland, the research in this area is scarce. It is important to study these groups of people as the numbers of older immigrants and immigrants with dementia is increasing in the country. The study aims at investigating their lived experiences and the obstacles they might face regarding their legal rights and access to justice, and whether they feel stigmatized in society because of their vulnerable situation. It is also necessary to find solutions and strategies that aim at improving their lives and welfare in the Finnish society. The study will primarily employ an empirical approach to investigate the firsthand experiences of these groups through conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews with them. The inputs and experiences of people dealing with these groups will be considered as well in the data collection process. From a legal perspective, the research will analyze the policies regarding access to justice for these two groups, such as the Elderly Care Act, the Non-Discrimination Act, and the Social Welfare Act. From a social perspective, the problem will be looked at from a social stigmatization standpoint. This is in the sense that belonging to one of the categories of being ‘immigrant’, ‘old’, and ‘ill’ can lead to stigmatization. This research addresses groups of immigrants who belong to at least two of these categories, hence what can be identified as ‘intersecting stigmas’, and potentially a reinforced experience of hindrances to access to justice.

Anna Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen (

Anna Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen is Professor of Law and Ageing. Her research has focused on Elder Law combining jurisprudence (Civil Law and Social- and Medical Law) with social and medical sciences.
Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen received her PhD (law) from the University of Helsinki in 2003. The title of her thesis is “Legal Rights of People with Dementia”. Her second monograph (2013) deals with the legal possibilities to anticipate aging. In autumn 2017, she published a book “Basics of Elder Law” with Anja Karvonen-Kälkäjä.
Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen is involved in many research projects. She is sub-consortium PI in an international research project focusing on the specific issues concerning people who develop dementia or mild cognitive impairment while still working (MCI@work). She is also sub-consortium PI in national research project scrutinizing home-based palliative care of the elderly (MeRela). At the University of Eastern Finland, Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen leads the Neuro-Ethics and Law research team, which is part of the university’s multidisciplinary Neuroscience research community.
Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen teaches Elder and Guardianship law and is a teacher in course “Social Law Clinic”. She is docent (adjunct professor) in Family law at the University of Helsinki and docent (adjunct professor) in Elder law at the University of Lapland.

Anna Rosenberg (

I work as a researcher in the Nordic Brain Network research group. My research interests include promotion of healthy aging and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, with focus on multidomain interventions.

Annakaisa Haapasalo (

I am Professor in Molecular Neurodegeneration and Research Group Leader. My current research interests are: Potential synaptic dysfunction, contribution of microglia and inflammation, and alterations in protein degradation and cellular energy metabolism in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as well as fluid biomarkers in FTD and other early onset dementias. Currently, I also coordinate the EU JPND programme-funded SynaDeg (Pre-diagnostic early synaptic disturbances in neurodegenerative diseases) project. In addition, I am Chair of the Regional Steering Group of the Kuopio Brain & Mind network belonging under the umbrella of Neurocenter Finland.

The aim of our studies is to provide new insights into the molecular basis of genetic (especially C9orf72 repeat expansion-associated) and sporadic frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and translate our findings for the benefit of the patients by discovering novel biomarker or therapeutic candidate targets.

Between the Normal and the Abnormal – Cultural Meanings of Dementia and Old Age in Finland and Russia (DemOldCult)

The study focuses on perceptions and representations of old age and dementia. The main aim of the research project is to make visible those cultural practices and discourses that produce marginalising stereotypes and stigmatise aging people, by means of deconstruction and critical approach. The examination of two cultural spheres, Finnish and Russian, both together and apart, will help in discovering and deconstructing cultural stereotypes.

Catherine Kayonga (

In this PhD study, we will explore the unmet social and healthcare needs of older people in Finland. We aim to reveal how unmet social care needs are associated with mortality, the use of home care and institutionalization in later life. We also aim to provide insights on risk factors linked to unmet needs.

This study is part of two projects: 1) the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study, with longitudinal data on health status, lifestyle, cognition, physical functioning, mood and biomarkers; 2) the Old-age Social Exclusion in Home Care – Prevalence, Meanings & Intervention (SOLDEX) project, examining the prevalence, risk factors and individual meanings of social exclusion in home-care clients.

Eino Solje (

Director of the UEF Brain Research Unit

Research Director, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Early Onset Dementia -research group
Partner in the national FinFTD research consortium

Major Research Interests

  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • Neurodegenerative disorders