Friday, March 24, 2017


The broad areas in which the faculty of department have done research include epidemiology of child psychiatric disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders (Intellectual Disability, Autism), internalizing disorders (Depression, Anxiety disorders especially Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), externalizing disorders (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Oppositional defiant disorder and Conduct disorder), juvenile Bipolar affective disorder, child sexual abuse, children in difficult circumstances, school refusal etc.

Faculty have worked in research collaboration with prestigious institutes like Indian Institute of Science (IISc), National Institute of Mentally Handicapped (NIMH),National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) etc. Extramural research has been funded by ICMR,DST,DBT etc.


Details : 

Research done at the department of child and adolescent psychiatry includes :

a) Clinical/neurobiological research :

1.Field trial of a new assessment instrument in autism: dept was involved in the planning of a new scale for assessment of autism – the Indian scale for assessment of autism (ISAA) initiated by DGHS with NIMH, Secunderabad as the coordinating centre. Dept was one of the field trial centres. Currently scale has been standardized and is available for general use.


2.Autism registry: this project, which involves development of registry of individuals with autism spectrum disorders attending NIMHANS

3.Psychotic disorders in mental retardation: this is a PhD theses completed recently and has offered important insights into presentation and diagnosis of psychotic disorders in individuals with mental retardation

4.Endophenotype (imaging, neuropsychological assessment and tracking eye movements) in parents and siblings of children with autism

b) Molecular genetic studies:

1.Primary Microcephaly: Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by congenital microcephaly (because of small brain) with No other major congenital anomalies and mental retardation. The diagnosis is established based on clinical features, normal karyotype, and other causes such as HIE, PKU, dysmorphic syndromes, maternal PKU, prenatal infection etc being ruled out. Importance of Primary Microcephaly comes from the fact that (i) Identified genes play a major role neurogenesis and neuronal migration (ii) Identified genes could have major role in evolution of human intelligence and (iii) Clinical implications – prenatal diagnosis. The dept has been involved in the molecular genetics study of this condition in collaboration with Dr. Arun Kumar from dept of MRDG of Indian institute of science for the last 12 years. So far around 85 subjects from 60 families have been recruited. Genetic analysis has consisted of karyotyping, Linkage analysis with microsatellite markers, Mutation analysis and Whole genome sequencing (started). Major findings are: (i) First to replicate mutations in ASPM gene(MCPH5) (ii) First to report mutations in STIL gene (MCPH7) and (iii) 4th to report mutations in WDR62 (MCPH2).

2.Identification of genes involved in X-linked Mental Retardation: this is a collaborative project with Institute of Bioinformatics, Bangalore. So far 50 families identified and recruited and the Genetic analysis going on.

3.Induced Pluripotent Stem cell (iPS) model of genetic microcephaly: this is a collaborative project with Dr. Shyamala Mani from Center for Neurosciences, IISc, Bangalore. Ethics committee clearance of NIMHANS has been recently obtained for this project and work will begin shortly.

c) Clinical trials

•Clinical trial of Ayush Manas in mental retardation: this is an ongoing double-blind placebo controlled trial funded by CCRAS. So far 120 participants have been recruited and being followed up for a period of 1 year.

•Aripiprazole in adolescent schizophrenia:

•Paliperidone in adolescent schizophrenia

•Clinical trial for efficacy and safety of DCBT 0123 in children with mental retardation