NIMHANS develops new Indian Brain Templates, brain atlas

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News: A team of neuroscientists from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences(NIMHANS) has studied over 500 brain scans of Indian patients to develop five sets of Indian brain templates and a brain atlas for five age groups covering late childhood to late adulthood(six to 60 years).

Facts:

  • Brain Template: It is a gross representation from various brain images to understand brain functionality in diseased conditions.
  • Need of Brain Template:
    • The Montreal Neurological Index(MNI) template that India uses is based on Caucasian brains which was made by averaging 152 healthy brain scans from just a small slice of the city’s population in North America.
    • However,Caucasian brains are different from Asian brains.Hence, India needs to have its own scale that will measure an Indian brain.
  • Significance:
    • The new population and age-specific Indian brain templates will allow more reliable tracking of brain development and ageing.
    • The templates and atlas will also provide more precise reference maps for areas of interest in individual patients with neurological disorders like strokes, brain tumours and dementia.
    • These will also help pool information more usefully in group studies of the human brain and psychological functions, aiding in understanding of psychiatric illnesses.