First Evert Indian Brain Atlas Created

In News

The Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad has created the first-ever Indian Brain Atlas (IBA).

In Detail

  • As per the researchers, it is found that the average Indian brain was smaller in height, width and volume compared to Caucasian and Eastern races.
  • The atlas is thus significant in treatment outcomes for neurological disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.

MRI Scans

  • It is a general practice by medical practitioners to decide on a line of treatment based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
  • But, the reference they use is created by the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), which is based on Caucasian brains.
  • As the Indian Brain Atlas (IBA) revealed that Indian brains are smaller, there is a chance of misdiagnosis with MNI.

Brain Atlases

  • Talairach and Tournoux atlas is the earliest known brain atlas. It was a manual drawing of the brain of a French woman.
  • The first digital human brain atlas was created by MNI and International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) in 1993. It is thus used as a standard in neuroscience studies across the world.
  • But, IIITH researchers have demonstrated that this standard based on Caucasian brains is not ideal to analyse brains of ethnicities such as the Indian brains.

Idea for Research

  • The need for the research arose as the MRI scanning machines come with preloaded MNI scans for comparison.
  • The Chinese and Koreans have their own set of brain atlases while there was no corresponding atlas for the Indian population.

The Research

  • For bringing out an Indian atlas, first a pilot project with 50 subjects were involved, evenly balanced across genders.
  • MRI scans of these subjects were taken across three different hospitals, at three different locations using three different scanners for eliminating variations.
  • Later, the research team recruited 100 willing participants to construct the Indian Brain Atlas.
  • The age group of the participants is between 21-30 years as the brain will mature around this age.

The Findings

  • The researchers have found that the height, width, and volume of Indian brains compared to Chinese, Korean and MNI are significantly lower.
  • For example, the volume of the hippocampus of the brain is lower for Indians.
  • Also, the structure of the Indian brain is different from other populations.
  • But, it is more relatable with the Chinese and the Koreans that the Caucasians.

Does Size Matter?

  • The discovery raises questions such as, ‘dose size of the brain matter for being intelligent?’
  • But, many scientists argue that size is an indication for smartness but intelligence is dependent on how various parts of the brain communicate with each other.

Future Work

  • The IIITH research team will further expand their work to creating brain atlases for different age groups like 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 and 50-60.
  • This will help in understanding how brain ages and how diseases like Parkinson’s, dementia, etc., occur.
About Classic IAS Academy 332 Articles
Classic IAS Academy is at the forefront of providing best IAS coaching in delhi, India. The Academy helps the aspirants to tap their innate analytical power to become successful in the exam.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply