Kauko Pitkänen (MD, PhD) is the Director of the Finnish Brain Research and Rehabilitation Center. He has been working in stroke rehabilitation research for 20 years with special interest in clinical studies on the effects of electrical stimulation and intensive upper limb therapies and robot-assisted gait training.
Kauko has collaborated with the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Eastern Finland in developing and implementing novel technology in circuit training for stroke patients. An ongoing project will lead to implementation of virtual environment applications for mobility training.
As member of supervisory committee of games for health projects conducted by Savonia University of Applied Sciences and Kuopio Innovation Ltd Kauko has contributed to the development of gaming applications for stroke rehabilitation. Kauko is currently leading a telerehabilitation project launched in November 2014 aiming to develop web-based interactive rehabilitation for domiciliary purposes exploiting Games for Health- innovations. The project will be in progress until 2017 and is funded by the European Social Fund.
MD, University of Kuopio, 1985
Specialist licence in neurology, University of Kuopio, 1992
PhD, University of Kuopio, 2002
Special competence in rehabilitation, University of Kuopio, 2003
Short list of publications:
Könönen M, Kuikka JT, Husso-Saastamoinen M, Vanninen E, Vanninen R, Soimakallio S, Mervaala E, Sivenius J, Pitkänen K, Tarkka IM: Increased perfusion in motor areas after constraint-induced movement therapy in chronic stroke: a single-photon emission computerized tomography study. JCBFM 2005;00;1-7.
Tarkka IM, Könonen M, Pitkänen K, Sivenius J, Mervaala E: Alterations in cortical excitability in chronic stroke after constraint-induced movement therapy. Neurol Res. 2008;30(5):504-10.
Tarkka IM, Pitkänen K, Popovic DB, Vanninen R, Könönen M: Functional electrical therapy for hemiparesis alleviates disability and enhances neuroplasticity.Tohoku J Exp Med. 2011;225(1):71-6.
Luukkainen-Markkula R, Tarkka IM, Pitkänen K, Sivenius J, Hämäläinen H: Hemispatial neglect reflected on visual memory. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2011; 1;29(5):321-30.
Könönen M, Tarkka IM, Niskanen E, Pihlajamäki M, Mervaala E, Pitkänen K, Vanninen R. Functional MRI and motor behavioral changes obtained with constraint-induced movement therapy in chronic stroke. Eur J Neurol. 2012;19(4):578-86.