Ph.D in Clinical Neurosciences

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Research Activities

The current era is said to be the 'Age of Neurosciences' just as the previous one was called the space age. Research in neuroscience is currently in its most fascinating form with more and more things to be learnt about our brains and thereby our own self. Basic research has provided us with such strong foundations that we have dared to look beyond; into the realms of the diseases that affect the nervous system using techniques and tools provided by advances in basic neuroscience.

Translational Research has been the core driving feature of our activities. Our group employ techniques as modest as an EEG or simple as an IHC to advanced neuro-imaging techniques to highthroughput techniques such as genome sequencing and microarray analysis to try answering a few daunting questions in Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. The ramifications of our group and some relevant links are placed below. 

Alzheimers Disease


Alzheimer's disease (AD), is a form of dementia that gradually gets worsens over time. It affects various cognitive domains including memory, thinking, and behavior. In the early stages of dementia, brain image scans may be normal. In later stages, an MRI may show a decrease in the size of different areas of the brain. There has been no definitive prevention or cure for this entity.Early identification and treatment could help slowing down the progression of this disease.

Some relevent links are listed.

Alzheimer's Association http://www.alz.org/

Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) http://www.alzheimer.org.in/

Alzheimer's Society http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/index.php

Alzheimers Disease Research http://www.ahaf.org/alzheimers/


Parkinsons Disease


Movement disorders are neurological conditions that affect the speed, fluency, quality, and ease of movement. Parkinsonism refers to a group of movement disorders that have similar features and symptoms. Idiopathic Parkinson's disease is the most common form of  Parkinson's disease also is called so because the cause for the condition is unknown.

Parkinson's results from the degeneration of nuclei in a number of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brainstem. When dopamine production is depleted, the motor system nerves are unable to control movement and coordination. A few educational links are given below

Movement Disorders Virtual University 

The Movement Disorder Society

Parkinsons Disease and Movement Disorders Society India


Epilepsy


Epilepsy is the second most common neurological disorder which results from the abnormal synchronous discharges from a group of neurons. About one-third of epilepsy patients do not become seizure free and the pathophysiology behind these resistant epilepsies is not known. Even the basic mechanism of epilepsy in the well controlled patients is not properly understood. Aggressive focused translational research in the field of epilepsy is the need of the hour as patients suffering from epilepsy not only face profound neurological sequelaes but also psychological and social consequences. Below are the links of some of the epilepsy related websites which provides further information about this disorder

Mitochondriopathies


Mitochondriopathies are a group of clinically heterogeneous multisystem disease characterized by brain–mitochondrial encephalopathies and/or muscle–mitochondrial myopathies due to alterations in the protein complexes of the electron transport chain of oxidative phosphorylation.

The precise relationship between mitochondrial DNA mutations, impairment of oxidative phosphorylation and clinical phenotypes is not well understood. The prevailing view is that defects in ATP generating capacity due to mitochondrial DNA defect leads to energy failure, cellular dysfunction and eventually cell death in the affected tissues.

Some important links on these group of diseases are given below.

United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

Society for Mitochondria Research and Medicine, India 

Mitochondrial Medicine Society

Sleep Disorders


Sleep is a complex neurological state. The importance of sleep could be seen from the fact that people spend about one-third of their lifespan in sleep. Alterations in the quality, quantity and pattern of sleep result in sleep disorders. Sleep disorders cover a wide spectrum of diseases. Though there are more than 100 identified sleep/wake disorders. Researches during the last 50 years, and the advances made in clinical sleep medicine, have lead to more effective treatments for the myriad human sleep disorders. Some important links on this topic are mentioned below.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) www.aasmnet.org

National Sleep Foundation (NSF) www.sleepfoundation.org

Indian Society for Sleep Research (ISSR) www.issr.in

                                                                Indian Sleep Disorders Association (ISDA) www.isda.co.in

                                                                World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) www.wasmonline.org

                                                                Asian Sleep Research Society (ASRS) www.asrsonline.org


Traumatic Brain Injuries



Mild trauma cause either contact (impact) or inertial (acceleration or deceleration) forces that has effect on extra or intra-cellular brain parenchyma, leading to imbalance in metabolic cascade or neurotransmitter level. Majority of them are not identified at structural level (CT, MRI). But the consequences of these imbalance is highly variable among individuals. Its interesting to know these concepts, by which we can find solutions and help better recovery of patients.   


Mild traumatic brain injury or concussion injury updates on NIH
                                                                                      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/concussion.html

                                                                                      International Brain Injury Association (IBIA)
                                                                                      http://www.internationalbrain.org/


Brain Tumors


The management of malignant brain tumors remains an enormous clinical challenge. Advances in neuro-oncology can only be made through research in the basic biology of brain tumors and clinical trials assessing response to new agents. Our aim is to identify biomarkers and evaluate their role, so as to drive more effective therapies that extend survival for patients with these diseases. Some important links and journals in this field include,


Society for neuro-oncology 

Schizophrenia


The WHO lists Schizophrenia among the most disabling medical diseases.  Schizophrenia is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized behaviour and progressive cognitive deficits. The pathophysiology of this disease remains yet unclear.Studies currently focus on understanding the clinical & pathogenetic correlates of brain abnormalities in this disorder by employing techniques including clinical / neurocognitive analyses,  brain imaging (structural MRI, functional MRI, DTI & MRS),  immunological assays, gene polymorphism & expression studies.

Some relevent links
http://www.transpsychlab.org/
Schizophrenia Research Forum

Autism


Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. The exact causes of these abnormalities remain unknown, but this is a very active area of research. Autism is also said to have a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants. There are probably a combination of factors that lead to autism. Some relevent links are mentioned below.


www.autismspeaks.org


 

Recent Publications 




  • Ashok M, Dhaval P Shukla, Bhagavatula Indira Devi, Akhil Deepika Kumarsamy, Dhananjay I. Bhat, Sampath Somanna, Domestic animal related neuro-trauma: an account, from a tertiary institute, J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2013 Jan-Mar;4(1):19-23
  • Ashok M, Nupur Pruthi, Mariamma Philip, Bhagavatula Indira Devi, Sampath Somanna, Elderly pedestrian neurotrauma: a descriptive study from a premier neurotrauma centre in India, JNRP J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2013 Jan-Mar;4(1):29-32
  • Ashok M, Bhavani shankara B, J saini, Pramod K pal, Invivo age related changes in cortical, sub cortical nuclei, and sub ventricular zone: A diffusion tensor imaging study, Aging Dis. Volume 4 (2), 65-75; April 2013.
  • Ashok M, , Bhagavatula Indira Devi, Thomas Issac Gregor, Dhananjay I. Bhat, Akhil Deepika Kumarsamy, Dhaval P Shukla. Bicycle related neurotrauma. J Neurosci Rural Pract. July-September 2013, 4(3):262-266.
  • Ashok M, Akhil Deepika Kumarsamy, Vasuki Prathyusha, Bhagavatula Indira Devi, Dhaval P Shukla. Can an abnormal CT scan be predicted from common symptoms after mild head injury in children? J Pediatr Neurosci (in press)
  • Ashok M, Bhagavatula Indira Devi, Dhaval P Shukla, Neeraj U, Shobini LR, Subakrishna DK, Jamuna Rajeshwaran, Rose Dawn B. Brain morphometric changes and cognitive domain correlations in early mild to moderate traumatic brain injury The Indian Journal of Neurotrauma (in press)
  • Vikas Dhiman, Sanjib Sinha, Vikram Singh Rawat, Harish T, S K Chaturvedi, Parthasarthy Satishchandra. Semiological characteristics of adults with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES): An attempt towards a new classification”. Epilepsy & Behavior 27 (2013) 427–432. (PMID: 23591261)
  • Vikas Dhiman, Rao Sudhanva, Sinha S, Arivazhagan A, Mahadevan A, Bharath RD, Saini J, Keshav J, Rao SL, Shankar SK, Chandramouli BA, Satishchandra P. “Outcome of lesionectomy in medically refractory epilepsy due to non-mesial temporal sclerosis lesions.” Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 115 (2013) 2445-2453.
  • Vikas Dhiman, S Sinha, VS Rawat, K J Vijaysagar, T Harish, S Srinath, SK Chaturvedi, P Satishchandra. “Children with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES): A detailed semiologic analysis and modified new classification”. Brain and Development, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2013.05.002.
  • Vikas Dhiman “An upcoming breed of Clinician-neuroscientists of India”. Asian Student Medical Journal. 14:1, 2013.
  • Vikas DhimanSinha S, Rawat VS, Harish T, Chaturvedi SK, Satishchandra P. Modified semiological classification’ and outcome of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in adults”. Epilepsia, 54(Suppl. 3): 30–340(p 109), 2013.
  • Munivenkatappa A, Devi B.I, Thomas Gregor Issac, Bhat D.I, Kumaraswamy A.D, Shukla D.P; Bicycle Accident –related head injuries in India: Journal of Neurosciences in Rural practice 2013,Vol 4 pages 262-266
  • Chandra SR, Thomas Gregor Issac, Ramakrishna A; Clinical and Radiological Spectrum of CSF Anti-Measles Antibody associated Encephalopathy-  TAPI journal Vol 5, Issue 2 ,May-august 2013; pgs1-6.
  • Thomas Gregor Issac, Chandra S.R, Nagaraju B.C; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in patients with Early cortical dementias: A Pilot Study. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology 2013; 16;619-622.
  • Vandana V.P, Chandra S.R, Thomas Gregor Issac; Influence of AAC modes on Speech Intelligibility in a speaker with spastic-flaccid Dysarthria due to Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis; TAPI Journal ,Vol 5, issue 3,Pages 1-5 September- December 2013.
  • Sindhu Krishnah CS, Chandra SR, Thomas Gregor Issac, Sanjith, Radhamma H; Legal and Ethical aspects in Nursing Practice- Review article; TAPI Journal ,Vol 5, issue 3,Pages 12-15 September- December 2013
  • Jhunjhunwala K, Prashanth DK, Netravathi M, Jain S, Purushottam M, Pal PK.
  • Alterations in cortical excitability and central motor conduction time in spinocerebellar ataxias 1, 2 and 3: a comparative study. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Mar;19 (3):306-11. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2012.11.002.