The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has urged the Indian Scientists to be the part of a movement wherein the Prime Minister wants to take the country on a path of progress in a fast forward manner. Speaking at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) at Manesar in Haryana, he urged Scientists to hold brainstorming sessions to find solutions for various problems being faced by the country as the Prime Minister also believes that science has every potential to find solutions for most problems.
The Minister while inaugurating the Magneto Encephalo Graphy (MEG) facility at NBRC urged the Centre to connect itself to various institutes in the country like NIMHANS in Bangalore and VIMHANs in Delhi to be able to serve people of the country better. He asked the NBRC to hold a national level conclave to make this Centre a focal point for the best research in the world in the field of brain research. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said such research could include treatment for brain ailments in the alternate system of medicines like Ayurveda and Homeopathy which are also adopting several treatment protocols for brain ailments.
The MEG is a component of the Centre for Research in Epilepsy Research at NBRC funded by the Department of Biotechnology and is a unique experiment of two institutions AIIMS and NBRC.
The MEG is a highly sensitive instrument which can record and measure extremely minute magnetic waves arising in the brain resulting from brain activity in the neurons. The MEG recording measures and localises the changes in the magnetic field and gives us an indicator of both normal and abnormal activity in the brain.
The abnormal activities in the brain resulting from Epilepsy (convulsions) are identified by this equipment and presently AIIMs doctors are treating such ailments using results from this MEG. Mostly these patients are treated by drugs, which suppress these discharges. However in about 20% of the patients the drugs are not effective and the portion of abnormal brain tissue needs to be surgically removed. This abnormal tissue has to be very carefully mapped so that damage to the normal, useful structures of the brain may be avoided. The sensitivity of the MEG helps in achieving this accurate localization of abnormal tissue. The patients are assessed in AIIMS, investigated by the MEG at NBRC and surgery is performed at AIIMS. This has already benefited a number of patients (approx. 400) all over India and a few from countries like Afghanistan, Nepal and other countries.
The president of the NBRC Society Prof P N Tandon the Director NBRC Prof. Subrata Sinha, Principal Investigator and Co- Principal Investigator of the Epilepsy Project Prof. P. Sarat Chandra (Neurosurgery) and Prof. Manjari Tripathi (Neurology) from AIIMS and other Co- Investigators Prof. Prasun Kr. Roy, Prof. Pravat Kr. Mandal and Dr. Arpan Banerjee were among several Senior Scientists who participated in today’s Conference.
The National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), Manesar, Haryana is an autonomous institute under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology. It was created to advance the area of basic and clinical neuroscience.
NBRC is one of the very few centres that encompass the entire spectrum of neuroscience research under one roof.
NBRC is a deemed university and awards its own degrees. It has an integrated MSc/PhD and PhD Programme.