CENTER FOR ADVANCED NEUROLOGICAL RESEARCH (CFANR)


Genesis:
This unique center devoted to clinical and basic research in the field of Neurology came into existence in 2006. The initial funding for starting the lab was brought in by Dr Lekha Pandit and a memorandum of understanding was signed with Nitte education trust on 15.07.2005. Subsequent funding came from the generous support of the Nitte trust and Governmental funding agencies such as DRDO, DST ICMR & DBT and international agencies such as Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain.

It was inaugurated by Padma Vibhushan Professor MS Valiathan on 17.05.2006, in the presence of Dr Shantakumari (former Medical Education Director, Kerala), Professor Iddya Karunasagar (FAO Consultant and National Professor) and Dr KR Shetty ( Emeritus Professor of Neurology and former Dean, KMC, Mangaluru).

The chief focus of research at CFANR is in the study of demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system. Both clinical and basic research is being done in the areas of Multiple Sclerosis , Neuromyelitis optica and other atypical CNS demyelinating disorders .

Clinical Research

Mangalore Demyelinating Disease registry:

The growing number of patients with demyelinating central nervous system disorders seen at the Department of Neurology at K S Hegde Hospital led to the formation of a patient registry exclusively for the enrollment, assessment, subsidized treatment and dedicated long term followup of patients with Multiple sclerosis, Neuromyelitis optica and other atypical demyelinating central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The Mangalore demyelination disease Registry, run by Dr Lekha Pandit was started in 2007 with a purpose to establish a database of CNS demyelinating disorders. Patients within a radius of 250 km from Mangalore are referred for specialist consultation and treatment. This registry has more than 1000 patients on its rolls. Nearly 2/3rd are followed longterm with dedicated treatment protocols and subsidized medications. Data from this registry has led to many original contributions that help to understand autoimmune neurological disorders in the Indian context.

Laboratory research

  1. Evaluation of the Immuogenetics of Multiple sclerosis and atypical demyelinating disorders – Association of HLA- calss I and class II alleles in patients and unrelated controls. Molecular typing using sequence specific probes are being employed for the same.
  2. Evaluation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with multiple sclerosis in Indian population using Real Time PCR machine ( Applied Biosystems). Preliminary study of 200 patients and controls have been completed using 15 SNP’s previously established to be strongly associated with MS in the west (see publications). Through international collaborative studies more than 100 associated common variants have been identified. A replication study of these 110 risk variants has been conducted in our population.
  3. Evaluation of environmental agents that are linked with Multiple Sclerosis – Role of Epstein Barr virus and Vitamin D levels were estimated . These estimations were done using quantitative ELISA . Our present study is understanding the role of certain Herpes viruses & Human Endogenous Retrovirus in Multiple Sclerosis pathogenesis. Here the viral load will be estimated using RTPCR technique.
  4. Evaluation of neuromyelitis optica antibody (NMO-IgG). We have recently acquired the technology for a fixed cell based assay using Indirect Immunofluorescence technique for detection of NMO-IgG in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with suspected NMO & NMOS disorders. Our next focus is evaluation of novel biomarkers and development of sensitive live cell based assays for the same.
Title Funding Agency Amount
Use of universal primers in the diagnosis Of culture negative meningitis Rhodes Scholar Mridula Shastri memorial post-doctoral scholarship (2001-2002) Rs 1,00,000
Use of semi nested PCR in diagnosis of Culture negative meningitis ” “ “ “
Evaluation of Fragile X syndrome as cause of mental retardation Indian council of medical of research (ICMR) & Nitte Educational Trust (2002-2003) Rs 25,000
Molecular Characterization of Campylo- bacter jejuni infection associated with Guillane –Barre syndrome Life Science research Board (DRDO,Govt of India ) (2005-2007) Rs 10,80,000
Molecular genetics & genetic epidemiology of some common triplet repeat disorders in Coastal Karnataka Dept.of Science & Technology, (DST,Govt of India) (2006-2009) Rs 19,00,000
A longitudinal study to determine the clinical and radiological predictors for ADEM and MS and to evaluate underlying genetic susceptibility. Indian council of Medical research (2007-2010) Rs 12,50,000
Evaluation of Anti Aquaporin Antibody in Indian Demyelinating disorders (collaboration with Professor Weinshenker, Mayo clinic,Minnesotta,USA) Intra mural funding (2007-2008) Rs 1,00,000
Study of patterns and prevalence of demyelinating disorders in urban Mangaluru Indian council of medical research (2010-2013) Rs 34,45,674
Environmental & genetic risk factors for MS in Indian population Dept of Science & Technology, Govt of India (2011-2014) Rs 49,72,000
Association of HLA Class I (A&C) Alleles in Multiple Sclerosis among Indian population- a pilot study Nitte University Rs 2,05,375
Multicenteric collaborative study on environmental factors in Pediatric MS (IPMSSG) Jointly funded by MSIF, Canadian & US MS centers
Identifying rare alleles in Vitamin D related genes in Indians with Multiple Sclerosis Dr Sreeramramagopalan, MRC,Oxford(PI) Dr Lekha Pandit (COPI) (funding- Medical research council, UK)
Evaluation of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Associated with Multiple Sclerosis in South Asian population MS Society of Great Britain (2014) 25,000 GBP
Understanding the role of certain Herpes viruses & Human Endogenous Retrovirus in Multiple Sclerosis pathogenesis Dept of Biotechnology (DBT ,Govt of India) Rs 61,77,600
Association of H pylori with NMO and NMO spectrum disorders among Indian population Nitte university Rs 1,33,900
Neuromyelitis optica Biomarker assay development- Phase1 Nitte university Rs 1,20,000

Facilities:

The research lab is equipped to do conventional PCR , Hybridization, agarose gel and poly acrylamide gel electrophoresis. The real time PCR machine is used for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and for gene expression studies. The newly developed cell culture unit and flow cytometer equipment are being used for the evaluation of novel biomarkers, monitoring of therapy after use of monoclonal antibodies ( eg. Rituximab) and in live cell based assay development.










Sl.No. Equipment. Make
1. Fluorescent Microscope Nikon
2. Real time PCR 7500 Applied Biosystems (USA)
3. Thermocycler PTC-200 DNA engine Biorad, (USA)
4 Flow cytometer BD-Facsverse
5. Class 2 Biological safety cabinet Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
6. CO2 Incubator Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
7. Cell counter Countess II FL- Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
8. LN2 container Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
9 Sorvall ST 8R Centrifuge Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
10 Revolutionary Laboratory Centrifuge R-8C Remi
11 PROTEAN® i12TM IEF System and SDS PAGE unit, BIORAD
12. Immunowash Microplate Washer and iMark Microplate Absorbance Reader with Microplate Manager Software 100/240 BIORAD
13. Digital PH meter HANNA
14. Direct8-Milli Q- Water purification unit Merck Millipore
15. Bar coding system-DATAMAX E 4204 Bartech systems and automation
16 Thermocycler PTC-220 DYAD (BIORAD)
17 Nanodrop-2000 Spectrophotometer Thermoscientifiic (USA)
18 Gel Documentation Vilber Lourmat (France)
19 UV Transilluminator Vilber Lourmat (France)
20 Electrophoresis System (Horizontal) Bangalore Genei
21 Electrophoresis System (Vertical) Bangalore Genei
22 Plate Centrifuge Remi PR-23 (INDIA)
23 Refridgerated Centrifuge Remi CPR-24 (INDIA)
24 Non Refridgerated High Speed Centrifuge Eppendorf (Germany)
25 -20º Deep Freezer-Horizontal 1 Blue Star (INDIA)
26 -20º Scientific Deep Freezer Vertical 2NOs Vestfrost (Germany) & panasonic
27 -80º Deep Freezer-3 NOs New Brunswick Scientific-U570 (USA)& Thermofisher Scientific
28 Hybridization Oven
29 Laminar Flow Units (2) Lab Line (INDIA
30 Incubator Kemi (INDIA)
31 Dry Bath Remi (INDIA)
32 Water Bath-2NOS Kemi (INDIA)
33 Precision Weighing Scale Citizen
34 Cyclo Mixer (3) Remi (INDIA)
35 Autoclave Unit (Vertical) 2 Lab Line (INDIA) and REMI
36 Serological pipette Eppendorf
37 Calibrated Micro Pipettes-6 sets (10µl, 20µl, 100µl & 1000µl) Eppendorf
38 Calibrated Multi Channel Pipette (10µl) Nichipet-7000 (Japan)
39 E4 XLS Electronic Multichannel Pipette Rainin
40 Microwave Oven IFB
41 Refrigerator Whirlpool
42 Refrigerator LG
43 Hydrasys 2 Sebia, France