Ingrid Ekström

Ingrid Ekström

Biträdande Lektor
Telefon: +46852485835
Besöksadress: Tomtebodavägen 18 A, 17165 Solna
Postadress: H1 Neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle, H1 ARC Psykologi Laukka, 171 77 Stockholm

Om mig

  • I am Assistant Professor in aging and neuropsychology working in Erika
    Laukka's research group at the Aging Research Center (ARC), Department of
    Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet. My
    research interests are focused on mapping trajectories of age-related changes
    in human cognition and olfaction (the sense of smell) to better understand
    their determinants and consequences. Before joining ARC in 2018 as
    postdoctoral researcher, I worked at the Gösta Ekman Laboratory (GEL),
    Psychology Department, Stockholm university. I obtained my PhD investigating
    olfactory function in memory decline, dementia, and mortality, based on data
    from the longitudinal and population-based Betula project. My work at GEL
    also focused on how smell-based games can be used for brain training.
    In parallel with my research activities, I am coordinator of the weekly
    scientific seminar series at ARC and regularly teach classes related to
    cognition, aging, and dementia. Our research group and I accept applications
    for research internships and student theses on a rolling basis. Please send
    me an e-mail if you are interested.
    -------- ------------------------------------------------------------------
    My thesis "Human olfaction: Associations with longitudinal assessment of
    episodic memory, dementia, and mortality risk" was awarded with the prize for
    best doctoral thesis at the Psychology Department in 2018.
    -------- Education -----------------------------------------------------------
    Assistant Professor in Psychology 2023, Aging Research Center, Karolinska
    Postdoctoral Researcher 2018 to 2022, Aging Research Center, Karolinska
    PhD in Psychology 2018, Stockholm university
    MSc in Psychology 2013, Stockholm university
    BSc in Psychology 2010, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn,


  • My research is concerned with loss of cognitive and olfactory function in
    older age, issues that have become of increasing importance in aging
    societies. More specifically, I am focusing on 3 major research topics: (1)
    Determinants and consequenes of smell loss in older age
  • (2) the
    identification of interindividual differences in olfactory and cognitive
    decline trajectories in normative aging and dementia
  • and (3) how differences
    in these trajectories may best be predicted by peripheral blood biomarkers of
    for example inflammation or neurodegeneration.
    Since January 2023, I am Principal Investigator of the project "Harmful
    consequences of smell loss in old age: a longitudinal population-based study"
    for which I was awarded SEK 2 850 000 from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (time
    period: 2023-2026). We know today that aging is often accompanied by
    significant loss in the sense of smell, olfaction. It is estimated that
    around 25% of persons aged 60 years and above suffer from olfactory
    impairment, and prevalence rates increase substantially with age. Still,
    potentially harmful consequences of smell loss are poorly understood. To
    investigate potential causal links between smell loss and conditions such as
    depression, loneliness, and malnutrition, we will make use of data
    from NEAR, the National E-infrastructure for Aging Research [1].
    Laukka, E. J., *Ekström, I*., Larsson, M., Grande, G., Fratiglioni, L., &

  • Rizzuto, D. (2023). Markers of olfactory dysfunction and progression to
    dementia: A 12‐year population‐based study. /Alzheimer's &
  • Dementia/. [2]
    *Ekström, I.*, Rizzuto, D., Grande, G., Bellander, T., &
  • Laukka, E. J.
    (2022). Environmental Air Pollution and Olfactory Decline in Aging.
    Environmental health perspectives, 130(2), 27005. [3]
    Cedres, N., Aejmelaeus-Lindström, A., *Ekström, I*., Nordin, S., Xin, L.,
    Persson, J., &
  • Olofsson, J. K. (2022). Subjective impairments in olfaction
    and cognition predict dissociated behavioural outcomes. /The journals of
    gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences/, gbac124.
    Advance online publication. [4]
    Dong, Y., Wang, Y., Liu, K., Hou, T., Han, X., Cong, L., Ren, Y., Zhang, Q.,
    Tang, S., *Ekström, I.*, Laukka, E. J., Du, Y., &
  • Qiu, C. (2022). Dementia
    screening in rural-dwelling Chinese older adults: The utility of a smell test
    and the self-rated AD8. /Journal of the American Geriatrics
    Society/, /70/(4), 1106–1116. [5]
    *Ekström, I*., Vetrano, D. L., Papenberg, G., &
  • Laukka, E. J. (2021). Serum
    C-Reactive Protein Is Negatively Associated With Olfactory Identification
    Ability in Older Adults. /i-Perception/, /12/(2), 20416695211009928. [6]
    Olofsson, J. K., *Ekström, I*., Larsson, M., &
  • Nordin, S. (2021). Olfaction
    and Aging: A Review of the Current State of Research and Future Directions.
    i-Perception, 12(3), 20416695211020331. [7]
    Dong, Y., Wang, Y., Liu, K., Liu, R., Tang, S., Zhang, Q., *Ekström, I.*,
    Laukka, E. J., Du, Y., &
  • Qiu, C. (2021). Olfactory Impairment Among
    Rural-Dwelling Chinese Older Adults: Prevalence and Associations With
    Demographic, Lifestyle, and Clinical Factors. Frontiers in aging
    neuroscience, 13, 621619. [8]
    *Ekström, I.*, Larsson, M., Rizzuto, D., Fastbom, J., Bäckman, L., &

  • Laukka, E. J. (2020). Predictors of Olfactory Decline in Aging: A
    Longitudinal Population-Based Study. The journals of gerontology. Series A,
    Biological sciences and medical sciences, 75(12), 2441–2449. [9]
    *†Shared first authorship*
    Olofsson, J. K.*†*, *Ekström, I*.*†*, Lindström, J., Syrjänen, E.,
    Stigsdotter-Neely, A., Nyberg, L., Jonsson, S., &
  • Larsson, M. (2020).
    Smell-Based Memory Training: Evidence of Olfactory Learning and Transfer to
    the Visual Domain. Chemical senses, 45(7), 593–600. [10].
    Hörberg, T., Larsson, M., *Ekström, I.*, Sandöy, C., Lundén, P., &

  • Olofsson, J. K. (2020). Olfactory Influences on Visual Categorization:
    Behavioral and ERP Evidence. /Cerebral cortex/, /30/(7), 4220–4237. [11]
    *Ekström, I.*, Josefsson, M., Larsson, M., Rönnlund, M., Nordin, S., &

  • Olofsson, J. K. (2019). Subjective Olfactory Loss in Older Adults Concurs
    with Long-Term Odor Identification Decline. Chemical senses, 44(2),
    105–112. [12]
    Liuzza, M. T., Lindholm, T., Hawley, C. B., Gustafsson Sendén, M.,
    *Ekström, I.*, Olsson, M. J., &
  • Olofsson, J. K. (2018). Body odour disgust
    sensitivity predicts authoritarian attitudes. Royal Society open science,
    5(2), 171091. [13]
    Olofsson, J. K., Syrjänen, E., *Ekström, I.*, Larsson, M., &
  • Wiens, S.
    (2018). "Fast" versus "slow" word integration of visual and olfactory
    objects: EEG biomarkers of decision speed variability. /Behavioral
    neuroscience/, /132/(6), 587–594. [14]
    *Ekström, I.*, Sjölund, S., Nordin, S., Nordin Adolfsson, A., Adolfsson,
    R., Nilsson, L. G., Larsson, M., &
  • Olofsson, J. K. (2017). Smell Loss
    Predicts Mortality Risk Regardless of Dementia Conversion. Journal of the
    American Geriatrics Society, 65(6), 1238–1243. [15]
    Olofsson, J. K., Josefsson, M., *Ekström, I*., Wilson, D., Nyberg, L.,
    Nordin, S., Nordin Adolfsson, A., Adolfsson, R., Nilsson, L. G., &
  • Larsson,
    M. (2016). Long-term episodic memory decline is associated with olfactory
    deficits only in carriers of ApoE-є4. /Neuropsychologia/, /85/, 1–9. [16]
    *Stanciu, I*., Larsson, M., Nordin, S., Adolfsson, R., Nilsson, L. G., &

  • Olofsson, J. K. (2014). Olfactory impairment and subjective olfactory
    complaints independently predict conversion to dementia: a longitudinal,
    population-based study. /Journal of the International Neuropsychological
    Society : JINS/, /20/(2), 209–217. [17]


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