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New Indian Brain Templates has developed by NIMHANS: Explained

A neuroscientists team from the National Institute id Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) has developed Indian Brain Templates (IBT) and a brain atlas.


It is a medical institution situated in Bangalore, Karnataka. For mental health and neuroscience education, it is the apex centre in the country and operates autonomously.

What is Brain Template?

From several images, it is basically a gross representation to understand the functionality of the brain in diseases conditions.

Currently, India uses the Montreal Neurological Index (MNI) template which is based on Caucasian brains that are different from Asian brains. The template of MNI was generated by averaging 152 healthy brain scans from just a small slice of the North America city’s population.

Do you know that some countries have their own scale to measure the brain but India is still dependent on the Caucasian brain template?

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About NIMHANS Indian Brain Templates and Brain Atlas

Over 500 brain scans of Indian patients were studied by Neuroscientists to develop five sets of Indian Brain Templates (IBT) and a brain atlas. IBT provides a scale that will measure an Indian brain. When various brain scans are taken then they need to be compared to a standard brain template. It is basically a model or standard for making comparisons from a group of individual brain scans.

Several experiments and comparisons with the existing internal templates found that using the NIMHANS IBTs for Indian brains significantly improved the accuracy of alignment and therefore noticeably reducing the distortions, errors or biases in final reports of brain structure and function.

For five age groups, brain atlas has been developed that covers late childhood to late adulthood from six to 60 years.

What are the expected benefits from IBT and Brain Atlas?

– The IBT and brain atlas will provide more precise reference maps for areas of interest in individual patients with neurological disorders such as strokes, brain tumours and dementia.

– It will allow new reliable tracking of brain development and aeging.

– All this will also help to pool information more usefully in group studies o the human brain and several psychological functions. It will also help in understanding psychiatric illness like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, substance dependence, schizophrenia, and mood disorders.

Previously in India various similar attempts have been made to develop brain templates and are typically focused on young adults and had a significantly smaller number of subjects. IBTs of NIMHANS are based on a comprehensive scan. It can be incorporated in normal[rotocols of brain imaging in India.

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