Sara Garcia Ptacek

Sara Garcia Ptacek

Assistant Professor | Docent
Visiting address: Blickagången 16, 14152 Huddinge
Postal address: H1 Neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle, H1 Klinisk geriatrik Eriksdotter, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am an assistant professor with 50% research activity and work as a
    neurologist at the Cognitive Clinic, Karolinska University Hospital in Solna.
    I conduct registry research with the Swedish Dementia Registry, looking at
    factors to improve diagnosis, care, treatment and outcomes in dementia. I
    also study COVID, particularly in regards to geriatric populations and
    cognitive risks. I collaborate with the European Dementia with Lewy bodies
    (E-DLB) consortium.
    2023 Docent in Neurosciences at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    2019 Fellow of the European Board of Neurology (FEBN)
    2017-2020: Postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Swedish Society of Medical
    2017 Prize for Clinical Thesis from the Spanish National Royal Academy of
    2015 Excellence prize for PhD thesis from Universidad Complutense de Madrid
    *2015 PhD Thesis. "Dementia: preclinical stages and mortality in Swedish
    cohorts".* Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Supervisors: Maria Luz
    Cuadrado (Universidad Complutense de Madrid-tutor and thesis director) and
    Maria Eriksdotter (Karolinska Institutet-thesis director). Cum Laude and
    European Mention. [1]


  • *Medication repurposing to slow cognitive decline in dementia:*
    Medication repurposing is a cost and time-effective way to discover new
    treatments. Swedish registers are a unique tool to detect medication
    candidates for repurposing. The Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem) has
  • 100000 patients and repeated measures of cognition over time (measured with
    the Mini-Mental State Examination—MMSE), making it perfect to examine
    whether certain medications are associated with less cognitive decline in
    patients with dementia. We propose a study combining traditional cohort
    studies and newer artificial intelligence (machine learning) techniques to
    detect medications associated with slower cognitive decline in patients from
    SveDem. We will test pre-specified hypotheses since we suspect specific
    medications are better candidates to prevent cognitive decline, but we will
    also let the machine learning algorithms explore the data to find
    associations that we do not suspect in advance. Finally, the candidate
    medications will be tested in animal and cellular models to determine the
    mechanisms of their effects.
    *Influence of COVID-19 and the pandemic on care, treatment and cognition of
    persons with dementia in Sweden:*
    The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the health and livelihood of most people
    worldwide but has disproportionately affected individuals in disadvantaged
    positions. We aim to examine the incidence and consequences of Covid-19 and
    the greater consequences of the pandemic in individuals with dementia. We
    identified individuals with Covid-19 from SmiNet and age, sex and region
    matched controls. Merged registries provided information on socioeconomic
    position in the years before and after Covid-19, social support and care,
    medications, dementia diagnosis and other comorbidities and mortality.
    Because Covid-19 disrupts care in patients with dementia, we use the Swedish
    Dementia Registry (SveDem), to determine how patients with dementia,
    specifically, fared during the pandemic. At present, we are have obtained
    this dataset and are actively seeking funding for this project.


All other publications


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, 2021-2027

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2023

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