DBT is funding a large number of basic biology neurosciences projects covering neuro-degenerative disorders, drug development, algorithm generation for detection of neurological disorders, neuro-inflammatory diseases, neuro-infections, epilepsy, stroke etc.
A programme on “Glial Biology” involving nine scientific-groups working on various dimensions of glial biology i.e. maternal protein malnutrition on the genesis, differentiation and maturation of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes; understanding the neuron-Glia crosstalk in HIV neuro-pathogenesis, deciphering the glial responses in sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and purinergic signaling in astrocytes and its implications in patho-physiology of epilepsy are among the major areas being investigated under this effort.
A sponsored project has demonstrated the effect of oral administration of a semipurified extract of the root of Withania somnifera consisting predominantly of withanolides and withanosides on reverse behavioral deficits, plaque pathology, accumulation of β-amyloid peptides (Aβ) and oligomers in the brains of middle-aged and old APP/PS1 Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice.
DBT also initiated schemes for clinicians and young researchers in the field of neuroscience in the form of two fellowships viz. Initiative on Neuro-Clinical Research Education (INCRE) and Initiative on Neuroinformatics and Computational Neuroscience Education (INCNE).
The INCRE fellowship is aimed to facilitate hypothesis-driven research designed to address important issues in neuroscience by clinicians while the goal of INCNE is to inspire young scientists and engineers from various disciplines to work in Neuro-informatics and Computational Neuroscience.
The INCRE award would enable clinicians to pursue critical research in the field of Neuroscience with an established researcher as mentor in an institute of their choice.
INCRE Scheme Objectives: Initiative on the Neuro Clinical Research Education (INCRE)- The goal of this Initiative is to facilitate research in the Neuroscience by clinically qualified candidates, in an institution of their choice. The initiative is expected to support six concurrent fellowships.
Dementia Science Project: DBT is setting up Population and Hospital-based cohorts with Bio-banks to find out the incidence/prevalence rates of dementia in different parts of the country so as to generate national level estimates.
It is planned to identify the risk factors and distinguish between normal ageing and mild cognitive impairment/ early dementia.
The role of conventional, biological, and psychosocial factors that protect or worsen outcome of cognitive decline and dementia in Indian are to be studied in Indian context.
There would be two long-term population based cohort of aging population to understand the process of Dementia and 5-Hospital based registry to catch the clinically defined Dementia population.
The Bio-bank/Bio-repository at NBRC and NIMHANS, Bangalore with peripheral sites would collect blood, tissues, saliva and other such samples for long term purpose for biomarkers, genomics and proteomics based studies.