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 behavioral 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 nutrtition and neurodevelopmental outcomes

The N4 Brain Trust

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

*PhD students who have graduated in the project.

PhD Students
  • Tove Grip
External Researchers
  • Ola Andersson, Lund*
  • Helena Filipsson, Göteborg
  • Bo Lönnerdal, UC Davis
  • Lena Westas, Uppsala

Project supported by Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council)


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