N4 Neurodevelopment Research

Cognitive problems (e.g. learning disorders, developmental delay) or behavioural disorders (including ADHD and autism spectrum disorders) affect approximately 20% of children. The pathogenesis of these disorders is not clear but it is of great public health interest to identify environmental or lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of cognitive and behavioural disorders in children. Preventing nutritional deficiencies may be an important factor in this context. The brain is the fastest growing organ from the third trimester of pregnancy up to 3 years of life, when it has reached 85% of the adult size. Nutrition during the fetal period and the first two years of life (the first 1000 days) is critical for normal brain development during the very sensitive stages of neural proliferation, migration, myelination and synapse formation. Our research focus is to find associations between early nutritional and other environmental factors on brain growth and development during pregnancy/gestation and the first years of life, and to find effective interventions for preventing cognitive and behavioural problems in children.

The N4 Research Group has a large focus on pediatric nutrition research and the research has had significant impact on clinical practice and child health in Sweden, Europe and the USA.

Research Topics

Example of some ongoing studies investigating effects of early nutrition and neurodevelopmental outcomes

The N4 Brain Trust

  • Magnus Domellöf
  • Anna Chmielewska
  • Christina West
  • Cornelia Späth*
  • Elisabeth Stoltz Sjöström*
  • Erik Domellöf
  • Itay Zamir*
  • Josefine Starnberg*
  • Niklas Timby*
  • Olle Hernell
  • Staffan Berglund*

*PhD students who have graduated in the project.

PhD Students
  • Eleni Kordi, Malmö
  • Sara Olivecrona
  • Malin Bergman Papworth
External Researchers
  • Bo Lönnerdal, UC Davis
  • Caroline Lilliecreutz, Linköping
  • Helena Filipsson, Göteborg
  • Lena Westas, Uppsala
  • Ola Andersson, Lund*
  • Pia Åkeson Karlsland, Malmö

Project supported by Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council)


Cord Clamping