Erik Blennow Nordström

PhD Candidate, affiliated with the university

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Applied Psychology


Cognitive impairment post cardiac arrest

Since 2016, I am a PhD student in clinical medicine with a focus on neuropsychology at the Department of Clinical Sciences Lund. My thesis work involves aspects of cognitive impairment after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The insufficient blood flow to the brain which follows cardiac arrest causes heterogeneous brain damage. In my thesis work, I aim to explore to which extent cognitive instruments correctly are identifying cognitive deficits in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Impaired memory, attention and processing speed are common complaints among cardiac arrest survivors. This could lead to reduced quality of life, reduced societal participation, as well as a heavy burden on families.

The multidisciplinary research group in which I am doing my PhD thesis, Center for Cardiac Arrest at Lund University, has developed a basic model for follow-up. Here, cardiac arrest survivors are asked about cognitive decline and partake in a cognitive screening. Meanwhile, relatives are asked about the patient's ability to take part in everyday activities. As part of this, I have psychometrically evaluated an informant questionnaire with good results. The questionnaire has previously not been used to identify cognitive decline post cardiac arrest. My upcoming project is a neuropsychological sub-study to the international multicenter trial TTM2 (Target Temperature Management Trial 2). Here I aim to examine the prevalence of cognitive impairments in cardiac arrest survivors, as well as psychological distress, mental fatigue, and insomnia.

Learning more about cognitive and emotional impairment after cardiac arrest is of interest for healthcare providers, patients and relatives as well as for upcoming studies. By identifying as many patients with cognitive decline following cardiac arrest as possible, adequate care, support and rehabilitation can be offered.

Professional work

Alongside with my research studies, I work as a licenced psychologist at Skane University Hospital, Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine. Here I perform neuropsychological assessment and treatment of patients who has aquired a cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, in specialized out-patient neurorehabilitation. I also work as a consultant for a rehabilitation ward. We work interdisciplinary in teams.

I have previous experience working with in-patient neurorehabilitation of moderate to severe aquired brain injury, among others involving rehabilitation of patients surviving cardiac arrest. Earlier I have been active as a school psychologist and at a memory clinic.

Beside my professional work, I am the regional president of the Swedish Neuropsychological Society, South region. Our society is a professional compound within the Swedish Psychological Association. Our focus is distributing current research and clinical experience within the neuropsychological field to our members and the society.


I teach in cognition and neuropsychology at the Psychologist Programme (Master of Science in Psychology Programme), at first cycle courses and at second cycle courses, the latter more specifically related to acquired brain injury, rehabilitation methods and team work.

Recent research outputs

Erik Blennow Nordström & Gisela Lilja, 2019, In : Current Opinion in Critical Care. 25, 3, p. 234-239 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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