IIT Hyderabad: New Study Reveals Indians Have The “Smallest Brain In The World”

Researchers at IIT Hyderabad created the first Indian Brain Atlas, which is a template for brains of people that are living in India.

The research that was conducted by researchers from the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H), revealed that Indians have a brain that is smaller in height, volume, and width when you compare it to people who live in Eastern countries.

The new study, which is published in Neurology India, is going to help in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and other brain diseases that people get.

According to Jayanthi Sivaswamy, a researcher from the Centre for Visual Information Technology, said the MNI (Montreal Neurological Institute) template that is used as the standard template, was created with the help of the Caucasian brains.

Jayanthi said it is not ideal to analyze an Indian brain with MNI as scans can lead to misdiagnosis.

Jayanthi explained, “As Indian brains are smaller in size when compared to MNI, the difference in scans can look alarming and lead to misdiagnosis.”

Jayanthi added, “There is clear evidence based on the study that it is desirable to build a larger atlas as it is important to understand structurally what is normal. This would help catch several brain conditions early on.”

Talking about brain templates, Jayanthi said China and Korea have their own templates when it comes to brain scans.

The new study was done with the hopes of creating an India-specific template.

Jayanthi said, “MRI scans of these subjects’ brains were taken at three different hospitals across three different scanners to rule out variations in scanning machines.”

She added, “Emboldened by the results of the pilot study, we went on to recruit 100 willing participants in the eventual construction of the atlas, referred to as IBA 100.”

The Indian Brain Atlas (IBA) was also validated against other atlases.

Jayanthi said, “These differences in height, width, and volume are found even at the structural level, such as in the volume of the hippocampus and so on. But overall, IBA 100 is more comparable with Chinese and Korean atlases than the distant Caucasian one (MNI).”

IIT Hyderabad is currently trying to have a better understanding of how the brain ages.

Jayanthi said a number of changes happen in the brain as a person ages, and one of the most common is atrophy, which is the shrinking of the brain.

The new study conducted by the IIT Hyderabad is going to help doctors in India diagnose dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in a faster and better way.

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