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First brain bio-bank to come up at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar soon

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar will soon have a brain bio-bank to facilitate neurobiology research. The one of its kind facility in eastern India will be set up with funding from ICMR.

After the advanced molecular and diagnostic centre for fungi, which is being set up at the mycology laboratory of the Microbiology department, the brain bank will be the second state-of-the-art unit as part of the national task force project.

The Neurobiology Research Centre at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru was the first to set up a brain bank in the country and the one at Bhubaneswar will be established in collaboration with NIMHANS.

A brain bank is a repository for human brain tissues. The facility will come up at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine where the stored brains will be made available for research purpose.

AIIMS Director Dr Gitanjali Batmanabane said the institute has received Rs 47 lakh from ICMR in the first phase to establish the brain bank. The assistance may be enhanced further as per requirement. “This will be the first such facility in the eastern region of the country and boost neuroscience research,” she said.

The satellite brain bank will collect and preserve fresh human tissue for researchers, especially those in the field of neurosciences. Brain donors with a history of neurological diseases or post-accident trauma but free from neuropsychiatric disorders will be preferred.

With diseases relating to brain disorder steadily rising in the country, research having relevance to degenerative and psychiatric diseases, neurobiology and neuroinfection will lead to better diagnosis and treatment of patients.

“Brain tissues are the key to research on various neurological diseases because techniques like functional magnetic resonance imaging scan the brains of living people and they can not peer into nerve cells. The endeavour will be crucial for the betterment of patient care in future,” said a neurologist.

Associate Professor of the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine Dr Suvendu Purkait has been selected as chief coordinator for the project. “The facility will ultimately help us to know about the pathobiology of different neurological diseases leading to the diagnosis, prognostication, modification and development of novel therapeutic strategies,” Dr Batmanabane added.

This apart, ICMR will spend Rs 2.5 crore for the advanced centre on fungi which will provide referral services like molecular identification of invasive fungal infections, antifungal susceptibility and detection besides the control of fungal outbreaks.

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