About me

I defended my PhD in 2023 with Prof. Miia Kivipelto as my principal supervisor. The thesis is titled The Impact of Macronutritional Composition and Ketosis on Cognitive Health: From Normal Aging to Alzheimer's Disease. It can be downloaded here: http://hdl.handle.net/10616/48662

Alongside my doctoral project, I have had a leading role in the conceptualization and planning of an upcoming clinical trial: COGNIFOOD—Investigating the therapeutic potential of changing the dietary carbohydrate/fat-ratio to prevent cognitive declineand Alzheimer pathology: A pilot study. The trial will launch in autumn 2023 at the Karolinska University Hospital and I look forward to analyze the results within a few years. Sponsor of the trial is the FINGERS Brain Health Institute with funding from the af Jochnick foundation.

Research description

It's well established that lifestyle affects the risk for chronic disease, but more detailed knowledge is warranted to guide prevention strategies. In my doctoral project I have investigated the impact of nutrition on cognitive health in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease. I'm especially interested in macronutritional composition and the impact of the metabolic state ketosis. My project included the planning and analysis of the clinical trial "Coffee & Cream" where we investigated the ketogenic effect of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and coconut oil in combination with time-restricted carbohydrate intake. Some promising pilot trials on ketogenic diets for improving brain health has led to an increased interest for this area of research. However, it's unclear how important ketosis is for mediating potential health effects of strict carbohydrate restriction. Results from my doctoral project suggest that even moderate changes in the carbohydrate/fat-ratio may impact cognitive function among older persons with risk factors for dementia. My current aim is to replicate those findings in data from other observational studies. The research question will also be addressed in an upcoming intervention study.

I'm interested in gene-diet interactions and particularly the role of APOE, which is related to both dementia risk and the metabolism of macronutrients. Increased knowledge regarding such interactions may lead to more individualized diet recommendations in the future. Additionally, I'm interested in the development of improved methods for nutritional epidemiology, based on theories for compositional data analysis and causal inference.