NIMHANS wants to study Jyoti Basu's brain

NIMHANS wants to study Jyoti Basu's brain

A mourner holds flowers outside the Assembly House in Kolkata to catch a glimpse of late veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu during a procession towards the anatomy department of the SSKM Hospital, to be donated to medical science as requested by Basu, in Kolkata on Tuesday. AFP

Director of Bangalore-based NIMHANS D Nagaraja  said on Wednesday that his institute was planning to write to the SSKM Medical College in Kolkata, seeking to know whether Basu's brain can be handed over to it for research purposes.

"Basu had donated his body for medical research. Based on that we want the SSKM Medical College to hand over the brain to us," he said.

The neuro-pathology department of the NIMHANS would write a letter to the SSKM in this regard, he said. Basu's body was handed over to SSKM authorities yesterday.
According to him, there are numerous age-related changes in a human brain and some brains are more alert than others. "There are some factors which prevent the fast ageing of a brain. We want to look into that".

NIMHANS has a well-functioning brain bank with around 300 human specimens.
Nagaraj said that mental health doctors were "curious" over the fact that Basu, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 95, was mentally so agile even at that age.
The NIMHANS director said that the institute's brain bank had carried out numerous studies in the past and some of the findings include less prevalence of dementia among the elderly population of India as compared to the West and certain genes which prevent the onset of Parkinson's disease.

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