Bengaluru: NIMHANS to host genetic, cellular repositor of mentally ill

Bengaluru :In a first-of-its-kind effort in the country, premier mental health institute NIMHANS here has taken steps to host the genetic and cellular repository of patients with mental health problems.

The repository is being built under prestigious and aspirational mission of the Prime Minister under the programme ‘Accelerating the application of Stem cell technology in Human Disease’, Health Minister J P Nadda said here today.

The giant collaborative effort involves premier Indian institutions including NIMHANS, NCBS, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, among others, Nadda said in his speech at the 20th convocation at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences.

“This futuristic vision heralds the utilisation of existing and emerging cutting edge technologies. It will go a long way in understanding the biology of mental disorders,” he said.

Noting that NIMHANS was successfully blending the traditional and modern systems of healthcare, he said over the past years, NIMHANS, AYUSH centre had thoughtfully and diligently developed an evidence base for integrating yoga therapies for mental and neurological problems.

“It is the right time to look for its expansion and mainstream these approaches in healthcare. I am sure yoga has much to offer in helping us manage these conditions,” he said.

He asked NIMHANS to suggest methods and mechanisms that would further facilitate this integration.

Observing that India was at an exciting phase of development, he said on the global platform, it was recognised to be charting a growth which was envy of many other nations.

“Being true to the philosophy of development for all, health is being embedded into the growth story.

“With the changing nature of diseases and demographic transition, the burden of non-communicable diseases and injuries are on the rise,” he said, citing latest data that indicate that ischemic heart disease, lung diseases and stroke are the top three leading causes of death among Indians.

Depressive disorders rank second in causing disability while road injuries and suicides continue to be amongst the top three causes of deaths amongst the males who are in their most productive period (15 to 49 years).

In this context, he said there had been a renewed emphasis on the ongoing NCD programme.

“We are not only expanding but are also improving the quality of care,” he added.