The NeuroCardioMetabol Group

The Neuro Cardio Metabol Group

The major research focus of the group is on the complications of diabetes such as stroke, endothelial dysfunction, heart failure and central neurological complications. We also work on the identification of new therapies with special focus on the effects mediated by incretins. Our research is truly translational as we use preclinical experimental models and perform clinical research with randomized clinical studies and epidemiological methods (registry studies).

Our group was the first to demonstrate (Nyström et al AJP 2004) that the incretin gut hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) improves endothelial function in type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients. We were also the first group to show the anti-stroke efficacy of incretin mimetics and of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors in animal models of T2D (Darsalia et al, Cli Sci 2012; Darsalia et al 2013 Diabetes).

More recent clinical research from the members of our group has showed that T1D patients have a dire prognosis after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) than non-diabetics (Holzmann et al JACC 2015) and that glycemic control is a key predictor for mortality in T1D after CABG (Nyström et al JACC 2015) as for T2D (Kuhl et al Int J Cardiol 2015). Moreover we are  participating in population based studies evaluating prevalence, incidence and  life expectancy of pharmacologically treated T2D patients (Norhammar et al, Diabetologia 2016) and effects of novel oral glucose lowering drugs (Nyström et al, Diabetes obesity and metabolism, 2017).

Preclinically, we recently showed that the anti-stroke efficacy by DPP-4 inhibitors is not mediated via GLP-1 (Darsalia et al Diabetes Obes Metab 2016). We also provided new insights on how T2D impairs neuroplasticity and neurogenesis during aging (Lietzau et al Psychoneuroendocrinol. 2017; Lietzau et al Oncotarget 2016, Mansouri et al PLOS One 2016: Larsson M et al Biosci Rep. 2016; Hussain S et al J Alzheimers Dis. 2014); observations that could be at the basis of decreased olfaction and cognitive decline in T2D.

Group members

Thomas Nyström, Professor, joint leadership of the group

Cesare Patrone, Associate Professor, joint leadership of the group

Vladimer Darsalia, Assistant professor, responsible of the preclinical in vivo activities

David Nathanson, Senior research fellow, responsible of clinical stroke

Martin Larsson, MD and PhD student

Grazyna Lietzau, Post doc, preclinical

Hiranya Pintana, Post doc, preclinical

William Davidsson, undergraduate student


The group has ongoing partnerships with Professors Claes-Göran Östensson, Kerstin Brismar, Henrik Druid, Tomas Hökfelt, Helena Erlandsson Harris (KI); with Associate Professors Sergiu-Bogdan Catrina , André Fisahn, Jan Kehr, Martin Holzman, Ulrik Sartipy, Anna-Norhammar (KI); with Professor Jan Eriksson (Uppsala University); with Professor Carina Mallard and Dr. Maria E Johansson (University of Gothenburg); with Professor Dan Lindholm (University of Helsinki); with Dr. Simone Beretta and Stefania Ceruti (University of Milan), Dr Fausto Chiazza and Professor Massimo Collino (Turin University) and Professor Mariagrazia Grilli (Novara University). We also have an ongoing collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Germany.