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Research 


 

Meditation and its implication on human brain:

 Effects of meditation on health are based on the principle of mind-body connection. Meditation practices are generally accepted as mind-body treatments for health related problems and overall well-being. The practice of meditation has been prevailing throughout the human history among diverse cultu¬res. In fact, it is not limited with one religion instead all religious traditions practice some forms of meditation. Meditation refers to a group of techniques, such as mantra meditation, relaxation response, mindfulness meditation, and Zen Buddhist meditation. Meditation is all about concentration balancing living, compassionate heart and action, effective thinking, minds selflessness, spiritual formation and wisdom. It appears that meditation may have therapeutic value, but limited to those who are psychologically healthy, well integrated and may have mild neurosis or psychosomatic disorders. We examine the underplaying anatomical correlates of long term meditation using neuroimaging methodology.  


Alzheimer’s disease and aging

 

Alzheimer’s is a fatal, progressive disease impacting at least millions people worldwide yet it is widely misunderstood.  Degeneration of cognitive functioning due to dementia is among the most important health problems in the ageing population and society today. Dementia causes long and oppressive suffering to patients and their relatives, and imposes enormous costs on society. Functional Magnetic Image Resonance (fMRI) Imaging and Diffusion tensor Imaging (DTI) are techniques used to measure brain activation and estimate connectivity between brain regions and assess how these change as we age and during the progression of diseases such AD. The main focus of this project is to evaluate and assess cerebral cortex changes during AD progression and assess structural and functional connectivity changes. The data is being acquired in collaboration with Department of Neurology, SGPGIMS Lucknow.


Multi-modal neuroimaging study in childhood psychiatry disorder.

(such as Dyslexia/learning disorder, Autistic and attention hyperactive disorder)

 

The most common developmental and psychiatric disorders of childhood include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and autistic spectrum disorders, which between them affect 10–20% of the school-age population. Each is defined by a different and relatively specific pattern of difficulties in behavior and/or learning. Thus, in ADHD, the core features involve attentional problems and/or hyperactive-impulsive behaviors; in dyslexia, specific difficulties with reading and writing; and in the autistic spectrum, impaired social and communication skills. In practice, however, the overlaps between these conditions are high, and their boundaries with normal variation in behavioral and cognitive function are not at all clear. Default mode network and brain connectivity model could help to account for some of the key cognitive and behavioral features of these conditions, such as anomalous visual, motor, attentional, or language processing. Using neuroimaging methods we assess atypical brain activity in specific areas and this information will be helpful in the management of childhood neuro-developmental and psychiatric disorder. The research work is initiated in collaboration with Department of Psychiatry, KGMU Lucknow.


 

Understanding the structural and functional brain wiring in adult deaf

 

The loss of a major sensory input early in life is known to cause alterations in neuronal connectivity and physiology at the cellular level, but effects on gross anatomy are less well understood. Congenitally deaf individuals receive little or no auditory input; they acquire sign as their native and primary language. The central goal of this research work is to understand how deaf individuals acquire reading skills. It is well known that the greater the residual hearing, the better the reading skills. The main issues to be undertaken with respect to the deaf brain are (1) Is reading in Indian sign language and reading in written word by skilled deaf reader use the same standard left hemisphere reading areas and their homologous areas on the right, as measured by fMRI in normal individual ? (2) Is meaning extracted and integrated from signs, picture and written word using the same classical left hemisphere fronto-temporal network used for speech in hearing individuals, and (3) Is superior temporal cortex encompassing primary and secondary auditory regions reorganized to receive and process visual sensory information ?. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffuse tensor imaging the present research will shed light on the above key question. This study has been begun in collaboration with Department of Special education, Dr Shakuntala Mishra National Rehabilitation University, Lucknow.