New Delhi: AIIMS, in collaboration with the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) in Manesar, have set up an advanced Epilepsy Neurobiology lab for epilepsy to improve diagnosis of patients and identify the cause of the disease at a cellular-level.
The lab is headed by Dr P Sarat Chandra of Neurosurgery and Manjari Tripathi of Neurology.
"Epilepsy is a result of hundreds of brain cells producing abnormally high levels of electricity, which results in different manifestations.
"The aim is to understand the mechanisms of this complex disease so that the knowledge obtained from research can be applied to enhance the outcome of surgeries," said P Sarat Chandra, professor of Neurosurgery at AIIMS.
"Epilepsy is a disease, which affects over 10 million people in India. Approximately, 25-30 per cent of these patients have drug resistant epilepsy. These patients require a surgical option to cure their disease. AIIMS currently has a vast experience with epilepsy surgery (over 1000 cases)," said Tripathi.
Unlike brain tumors, surgery for epilepsy require a complex work up and plethora of investigations to be performed. Often in about 30-40 per cent of cases, all the investigations are negative.
The neurobiology lab boasts of advanced research facilities to perform single neuron cell recordings and also perform complex molecular and cellular analysis of brain samples in patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery to understand better about its mechanisms.
Magnetoencephalography (MEG), advanced diagnostic machine, located in NBRC is an advanced and a sophisticated machine which is capable of detecting magnetic fields in order of 1/10 millionth of the Earth's gravitational fields and hence is a very sensitive machine to detect epileptogenic networks in brain. This is being used in the lab.