Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

A five-year project that National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru has undertaken in collaboration with a university from USA will bridge the knowledge gap around factors influencing the acceleration in brain aging.
The research will attempt to understand the multiple factors – psychosocial, lifestyle-related, genetic, amongst others, that can contribute to this ‘brain age gap’.
400 volunteers — healthy older adults and persons with memory impairment — will held in the study.
Dr G Venkatasubramanian, Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Principal Investigator of this study at NIMHANS said, “We expect to gain a much deeper understanding of the factors that lead to Alzheimer’s dementia through this study and request the wholehearted participation and support of patients and their families in this novel research initiative”.
Clinical interview, memory and cognitive tests, blood investigations and brain imaging (MRI scan) of the individuals will be held for comprehensive assessment of risk and protective factors.
Thereafter, for two years, there will be a follow-up of the volunteers to understand the contribution of these factors to the risk of developing dementia.
Eminent researchers from NIMHANS — Dr. John. P. John, Professor of Psychiatry and Faculty in charge – Multimodal Brain Image Analysis Laboratory (MBIAL), Dr. G. Venkatasubramanian, Professor of Psychiatry and Faculty-in-charge, Translational Psychiatry Laboratory (TransPsych Lab), Dr. P.T. Sivakumar, Professor of Psychiatry and Head, Geriatric Psychiatry Unit — will be a part of this initiative
NIMHANS has collaborated with University of Southern California (USC), USA for the ‘India ENIGMA Initiative for Global Aging and Mental Health’ study.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)/National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA has provided a competitive research grant of Rs 21 crores for the project which has been approved by the health ministry of the government of India and the NIMHANS Institutional Ethics Committee.
Director of NIMHANS Dr Pratima Murthy said, “Insights from this study will substantially contribute towards health promotion and healthy aging in older adults.”
John P John, Professor of Psychiatry and Principal Investigator of this study at NIMHANS said that major medical breakthroughs have occurred in the past because of the generosity of participating volunteers. “We hope that this study can generate critical insights for planning preventive and treatment strategies for dementia in the Indian population,” he added.
The project will be launched on February 9 at NIMHANS.

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Tanushree K

By Tanushree


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