Acute and intensive care neurology research group

The research group investigates the cerebral mechanisms that lead to acute impairment of consciousness and cognition, and what it takes to reverse these mechanisms.​

Patients with acute brain injury exhibit various cognitive disorders, from mild confusion to coma. Whereas research traditionally focuses on the underlying etiologies such as traumatic brain injury or stroke, our research group specifically investigates the cerebral mechanisms that lead to acute impairment of consciousness and cognition, and what it takes to reverse these mechanisms. 

Acute neurological injuries, including acute exacerbation of established neurological diseases, represent the largest share of neurological hospitalizations. We therefore aim to make a contribution to all areas of interest to acute and intensive care neurology.

Main research areas

  • Our main area of interest is coma and other conditions with impaired consciousness and cognitive disorders following acute traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury. The latter include brain injury related to cerebrovascular, infectious, metabolic and autoimmune brain disease, as well as anoxic brain injury after cardiac arrest. 
  • Methods used include EEG, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) -EEG, fMRI and automatic pupillometry.
  • Coordinating a task force of 16 international coma experts who identified the most challenging diagnostic and therapeutic problems in coma and acute brain injury. Now, our research group builds on this European Academy of Neurology guideline by exploring novel methods to detect and promote the recovery of consciousness in patients with acute brain injury.
  • Another research area is neurological complications of COVID-19. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients have a high burden of acute neurological injury, and COVID-19 also leads to significant cognitive and mental problems in the general population. ​


  • Lundbeckfonden
  • Novo Nordisk Fonden
  • Jascha Fonden
  • Offerfonden
  • Region Hovedstadens Forskningsfond til Sundhedsforskning

Current team members 

Moshgan Amiri (PhD student), Marwan H. Othman (PhD student), Pardis Zarifkar (PhD student), Costanza Peinkhofer (PhD student), Elisabeth W. Jacobsen (research student); and external collaborators

Visiting scientists

Anirban Dutta, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA

International key collaborators

​​We have well-established collaborations with the intensive care units, the departments of neurosurgery, cardiology, neuro-anesthesiology, radiology and clinical neurophysiology, Neurobiology Research Unit, Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, Department of Computer Science (UCPH) and a large international coma network. ​

  • ​Curing Coma Campaign, Neurocritical Care Society, USA
  • GIGA Coma Science, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Scientific Panel Coma and Disorders of Consciousness, European Academy of Neurology, Vienna, Austria
  • Department of Neurology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany

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