Wednesday, December 19, 2018
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Research

Current Faculty and Summary of Research:

Dr.Bindu M Kutty, Professor and Head

Dr. T.N. Sathyaprabha, Professor

Dr. B.S. Shankaranarayana Rao, Professor

Dr. Laxmi T. Rao, Additional Professor

Dr. Kaviraja Udupa, Additional Professor

Dr. K. Vijayalakshmi, Assistant Professor

Dr. B. N. Srikumar, Assistant Professor

 

Dr Bindu M Kutty, Professor:

  • Professor & Head (2011-2013)
  • Teaching Faculty, NSMC (National Sleep Medicine Course – An Indo US Venture to propagate sleep education)
  • Member, Indian Board for certification of Sleep Medicine,
  • General Secretary, ISSR ( Indian Society for Sleep Research),
  • Member, Review Committees , ICMR, DST
  • Editorial Board Member of IJCEP,JCBS,
  • Reviewer, Scientific journals (International & National)
  • Member, Institute Ethics Committee , NIMHANS
  • Ph.D Examiner for Indian Universities
  • Member of Doctoral Committee - JIPMER
  • Former Member, Board of Studies, University of Calicut
  • Former member, Board of Studies , Institute Animal ethics Committee, NIMHANS

Major Objectives:
I.    To contribute towards the perspective of the ‘cognitive reserve’ capacities of the brain 
II.    To contribute towards the understanding of the Neurobiology of consciousness along the illness to wellness spectrum.

  •       Neurobiology of sleep associated with neuropsychiatric disorders
  •     Neural correlates of cognition, consciousness and well-being from Illness to Wellness.
  •     Neural correlates of meditative practices
  •     Role of subiculum in spatial learning and memory functions,
  •     Strategies of environmental stimulation and transplantation in establishing functional recovery

Human Sleep, Cognitive and Consciousness studies
We try to understand the neurobehavioral correlates of consciousness and cognition from a broad spectrum i.e., from illness to wellness. We study brain functions through EEG dynamics; Event Related Potential studies (ERPs) as well as through whole night polysomnographic studies. We study the sleep architecture and examine EEG dynamics during different states of consciousness especially during sleep and wake states and also during performing certain cognitive tasks.
We have undertaken studies ranging from meditative states to brain functions in Schizophrenia, Generalized Anxiety disorders and in Ataxia. The neural correlates of meditations have been studied using two meditative techniques; the mindfulness meditation used in Vipassana meditation practice and the BrahmaKumaris Raja yoga meditation which utilizes concentration and contemplative techniques. We evaluate how such techniques induce various aspects of neural plasticity events in enhancing the cognitive functions and in achieving higher states of consciousness in terms of personal growth and psychological well-being.

Collaborators : Dr. John P. John , Addl. Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Dr.RavindraPanth, Director-Vice Chancellor, Nava NalandaMahavihara (Deemed University), Patna, Bihar , Dr.SeemaMehrotra, Addl. Professor, Dept. of Clinical Psychology,NIMHANS, Dr. Ravi Yadav&Dr.Pramod Pal, Dept. of Neurology, NIMHANS.

 

Dr T N Sathyaprabha, Professor

  • In charge Autonomic Lab
  • ICMR International Young Scientist award – Fellowship at Autonomic Lab, Queen’s square hospital London 2009
  • Sir M ViswaraiahParisaraRathna Award from KUVEMPU University, 2009
  • Dr KalpanaChawla Award for Young Woman Scientist award 2010
  • Prof Baldev Singh Oration Award 2010
  • Best poster award at Epilepsy Conference ECON 2011, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Fellowships/Memberships of National, International/Scientific societies, Academic bodies

  •  The Secretary, SfN Bangalore Chapter
  •  Member of Standing Finance Committee, AYUSH, Ministry of Health 2009-2011
  • Member of Project Evaluation Committee, AYUSH, Ministry of Health 2009-2011
  • Member of MCI assessor, Govt of India
  • Member of Ethics Committee at Institute of Unani Medicine
  • Reviewer for Elsevier publications - Medical Engineering and Physics,  Journal of Chinese Clinical Medicine ,Indian Journal of Pharmacology  and Physiology ,Indian Journal of Medical Research, Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, ActaNeurolScand, International journal of Yoga
  • Member of Doctoral Committee – JIPMER

Research Studies:

  • Autonomic studies in healthy (including effect of age and gender)
  • Autonomic studies in neuropsychiatric disorders (ischemic stroke, General Anxiety disorder)
  •  Heart rate and blood pressure variability studies (ischemic stroke, hot water epilepsy, myasthenia gravis, Major depression),
  • Autonomic status evaluation in diseases (Depression, compressive cervical myelopathy, spinocerebellar ataxia, epilepsy,  
  • Efficacy evaluation of novel treatment modalities on Autonomic functions [Ayurveda in depression, Ayurveda in General Anxiety disorders, Transcranial magnetic stimulation in depression, yoga in epilepsy,  meditation, physical therapies in Parkinson’s disease, pharmacological treatment (Levodopa) in Parkinson’s disease]
  • Under the guidance of Prof TR Raju, actively involved in In-vitro and In-vivo studies on ALS.
  • Interdisciplinary research:  Study on effect of Ayurvedic therapies on major depression/ stroke. The study has also explored Ayurvedic perspectives of neurophysiology.

 

Dr. B S Shankaranarayana Rao, Professor

Dr. B S Shankaranarayana Rao is an Additional Professor of Neurophysiology. He has an M.Phil and PhD from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore. His doctoral work focussed on understanding the role of intracranial self stimulation in brain plasticity.   He received postdoctoral training at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and electrophysiology training at Woods Hole, USA. Dr. Rao has authored books, book chapters and several international publications to his merit and has published in Neuron, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, etc.

He is recipient of numerous awards including the Prof.Baldev Singh Oration award, Sir CV Raman Young Scientist award, INSA Young Scientist Award, Prof. BK Anand award, Karnataka Padmabhushana award and Karnataka Kesari award. He is affiliated with many scientific societies and scientific policy making bodies and also Fellow of Society for Applied Biotechnology. The dissemination of scientific knowledge to the general public holds a special place for Dr. Rao and he has actively participated in many science popularizationactivities including TV and Radio programmes.

Research highlights :

Dr.Rao’s lab focuses on understanding how neuronal plasticity functions in normal and diseased conditions. Plasticity is a fundamental mechanism by which an organism responds to changes in its environment and learns to adapt to that change and the ability of the brain to undergo plastic changes is compromised in neurodegenerative and/or psychiatric conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, hypoxia, aging and epilepsy. To learn more about plasticity mechanisms, the lab works with animal models of stress, depression and epilepsy and evaluates several parameters such as learning and memory, depressive behaviour, electrophysiological assessment such as long-term potentiation in the hippocampus, molecular studies to understand expression of trophic factors and morphometric studies to analyse alteration in dendritic morphology and structural integrity of brain areas like the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala.

Another major research focus has been on understanding the role of adult neurogenesis in health and disease. Adult neurogenesis has been studied in the subgranularzone of the hippocampus. The current hypothesis suggests that one of the main functions of adult neurogenesis is to replace degenerating/dying neurons in the brain. Therefore, understanding factors that can trigger and modulate adult neurogenesis by activating the resident stem cells in the adult brain holds great promise in treating psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

Other research areas in the lab include epilepsy research, synaptic plasticity in knockout and transgenic mice and the drug development to treat Fragile X mental retardation and Autism. The lab also focuses on trying to understand the therapeutic potential and mechanism of environmental enrichment, brain stimulation reward, antidepressant and antiepileptic drugs.Further, his lab works on evidence based approaches in treating neuropsychiatric disorders using medicinal plants.


Dr Laxmi T Rao, Additional Professor

  • Member of the University Grant Commission (UGC) for the advisory committee of Center with Potential for Excellence in a Particular Area (CPEPA) of University of Calcutta.
  • Executive Member for Indian Academy of Neuroscience (IAN)
  • Executive Member for Indian Society for Sleep Research (ISSR)
  •  Member of Constitution Amendment Committee (CAC) for Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India (APPI).
  • Member of Doctoral committee NCBS, Bangalore; MAHE, Manipal
  • Executive Member of Society for Neuroscience (SFN) - Bangalore Chapter.
  • Reviewer for International and National Journals

Research Objectives
1.    Aim to study the neural mechanisms of the cognitive impairment and sleep disruptions after environmental manipulations during different stages of life in animal models.
2.    Aim to establish specific non-pharmacological prototype with definite neural mechanisms for the speedy recovery from ischemic stroke using animal models.

Research Highlights
Since most of the psychiatric diseases surface either in pubertal or adult life, it becomes essential to know the degree of environmental stimulation and interaction they undergo during the early years of brain development. The development of fear generalization, helplessness, anxiety and disruptions in sleep are the prominent features of several psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorders, depression and anxiety disorders in human patients. Our research group is interested to study the Neurophysiological and behavioural observations of rats exposed either to early postnatal stress or to stress/enriched environment during adult life.