Carina Wattmo

Carina Wattmo

Associate researcher, R.N., B.Sc., Ph.D.

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Personal profile


My research currently aims to predict the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from different perspectives (e.g., cognition, activities of daily living) in groups of patients from routine clinical practice. I am also investigating various aspects of cholinesterase inhibitor (ChEI) therapy and potential protective and risk factors that might affect disease progression and end-points in different AD subgroups (e.g., sex, apolipoprotein E genotype, cerebrospinal fluid biomarker patterns, early- vs. late-onset AD, and individuals with concomitant somatic or psychiatric disorders). In addition, I am developing empirical statistical models to predict various outcomes over the course of AD. A deeper knowledge of significant factors and models of progression may be useful in studies of future disease-modifying AD therapies. Furthermore, I examine the possible relationships among the above-mentioned groups and the amount of community-based services, need for nursing home placement and survival time. The data for this study are drawn from the Swedish Alzheimer Treatment Study (SATS), which is the largest (1,258 patients) and longest (now 20 years of mortality follow-up) observational AD study in the world.


Since 2010, I have been a member of the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium (EADC), which is a network of more than 60 European centres. These centres of excellence perform clinical and biomedical research in AD, as well as standardization of diagnostics, assessment tools, data collection and treatment of AD patients in European Union countries. I attend several international and national conferences annually and give oral communications and poster presentations. I deliver lectures to physicians and health professionals working in the field of dementia, and to local politicians, the general public and Rotary club members, among others.

Societal impact

My research is clinical and patient-centred, which means that many results are immediately applicable and useful for individuals with AD. For example, the use of higher ChEI doses has shown improved effectiveness and increased the potential for a more positive long-term prognosis. Better cognitive and functional capacities for these mostly elderly and frail persons might imply that they will maintain their independence longer and experience an improved quality of life. Thus, the need for community-based services can be postponed and the societal costs of care reduced. The results from my work may provide a scientific basis for treatment recommendations for AD patients with various co-morbidities to both dementia specialists and general practitioners.

Identification of AD subgroups with different risk factors and predicted rates of deterioration might lead to knowledge about the expected need for community-based care and nursing homes in the future. The importance of this research from a societal perspective can be substantial for AD patients and their relatives. An understanding of cognitive and functional progression rates and predictors of decline in subgroups might be useful when considering new diagnostic criteria and when interpreting outcomes from future clinical AD trials of potentially disease-modifying therapies.

The findings from my work have received great media interest and attention, including interviews on Swedish radio stations, articles in leading national and local daily newspapers, and reports in various medical journals and websites, e.g., Alzheimer Sweden.


I have worked over many years at the Clinical Memory Research Unit, Lund University and the Memory Clinic, Skåne University Hospital as a tutor/statistical consultant for senior scientists, postdocs, PhD and undergraduate students. I am a lecturer on the selective course “Cognitive Disorders” at the Medical School, Lund University. I have also been an opponent/examiner of medical students’ final papers. I also had work experience for 2.5 years as a junior lecturer in statistics at the Department of Statistics, Faculty of Social Science, Lund University, which included delivering lectures to large and small groups and providing computer exercises for various bachelor programmes, e.g., business administration, social work and computer science.

Professional work

I am currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Clinical Memory Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Lund University in Sweden. After I completed my doctoral thesis, I received a 3-year ALF young researcher postdoc grant from Region Skåne. Then, I received a 4-year postdoctoral scholarship from the Swedish Brain Foundation. I have a broad academic background, including Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Economics, as well as in Statistics, and many years of work experience as a controller and medical statistician at the former Psychogeriatric Clinic in Lund and at the Memory Clinic, Skåne University Hospital. I started my medical career as a registered nurse and worked in that profession for about two years.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Other Clinical Medicine
  • Neurology

Free keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors
  • Cognition
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Nursing home placement
  • Mortality
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Predictors
  • Mixed-effects models
  • Survival analysis
  • Sex
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Comorbidities
  • Treatment response


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