Centre for Advanced Neurological Research

Centre for Advanced Neurological Research

Dr Lekha Pandit is the Principal Investigator of this center , located at KS Hegde Medical Academy. Its strength and uniqueness comes from the fact that it is a clinician driven research center which focuses on translational research in autoimmune central nervous system disorders. Its broad goals are to utilize clinical longitudinal data derived from its large patient registry to ask basic research questions that have translational potential through identification of biomarkers, immunological targets that facilitate management algorithms and the development of cost effective bioassays. These include a number of autoimmune disorders with special emphasis on multiple sclerosis (MS), Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders(NMOSD) and a variety of atypical non MS demyelinating diseases.

Current Areas of Research

This unique centre 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. LekhaPandit 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.

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, Neuromyelitisoptica 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 1500 patients on its rolls. Nearly 2/3rd are followed long-term 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:
  • Development of in-house cell based assay for the detection of AQP4 and MOGIgG antibody using Indirect Immunofluorescence technique for the sensitive diagnosis of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders (NMOSD).
  • Evaluation of the genetic susceptibility and environmental factors associated with Multiple sclerosis and Neuromyelitisoptica spectrum disorders.
  • Biomarker development for the detection of unknown antibodies associated with seronegative NMOSD.
  • Role of gut microbiome in central nervous system autoimmune disorders


Cell culture Equipments:
  • Fluorescent Microscope
  • Class 2 Biological safety cabinet
  • CO2 Incubator
  • Flow cytometer
  • Cell counter-Countess II FL
  • Immunowash Microplate Washer and iMark Microplate Absorbance Reader
  • Direct8-Milli Q- Water purification unit
  • Ice machine


Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
Bio-Rad (USA)
Merck Millipore
PCR and Electrophoresis equipments:
  • Real time PCR
  • Thermal cycler-PTC220 Dyad
  • Thermal cycler- S1000
  • Nanodrop-2000 Spectrophotometer
  • Gel Documentation unit
  • HYDRASYS 2 Iso Focusing unit - Automated Agarose gel Electrophoresis System
  • PROTEAN® i12TM IEF System and SDS PAGE unit
  • Electrophoresis System (Horizontal)
  • Electrophoresis System (Vertical)

7500 Applied Biosystems (USA)
Bio-Rad (USA)
Bio-Rad (USA)
Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
VilberLourmat (France)
Sebia (France)
Bio-Rad (USA)

Bangalore Genei
Bangalore Genei
  • Sorvall ST 8R Centrifuge
  • Revolutionary Laboratory Centrifuge R-8C
  • Plate Centrifuge PR-23
  • Refrigerated centrifuge CPR 24
  • Non Refrigerated High SpeedCentrifuge
  • Refrigerated Centrifuge 5702R

Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
Remi (India)
Remi (India)
Remi (India)
Eppendorf (Germany)
Eppendorf (Germany)
Freezers and refrigerators:
  • -80°c Deep Freezer-3 Nos

  • -20°c Deep Freezer-Horizontal -1 No
  • -20°c Scientific Deep Freezer Vertical -2Nos

  • Refrigerator (150ltr)
  • Refrigerator (350ltr)
  • LN2 container - 2 Nos (50ltr)

New Brunswick Scientific-U570 (USA)& Thermofisher Scientific
Blue Star (India)
Vest frost (Germany) & Panasonic (Japan)
Thermo Fisher scientific (USA)
  • Serological pipette
  • Calibrated Micro Pipettes-6 sets (10µl, 20µl, 100µl & 1000µl)
  • Calibrated Multi Channel Pipette(10µl)
  • E4 XLS Electronic Multichannel Pipette

Nichipet-7000 (Japan)
  • Digital PH meter
  • Bar coding system-DATAMAX E 4204
  • Hybridization Oven
  • Laminar Flow Units (2 Nos)
  • Incubator
  • Dry Bath
  • Water Bath-2Nos
  • Precision Weighing Scale
  • Cyclo Mixer (3 Nos)
  • Autoclave Unit (Vertical)- 2 Nos
  • Microwave –oven

Bartech systems and automations
Thermo Fisher scientific
Lab Line( India)
Kemi ( India)
Remi ( India)
Kemi ( India)
Remi ( India)
Lab Line and REMI( India)


Special immunodiagnostic tests are offered at Centre for Advanced Neurological Research
  • NMO/MOG IgG test by Indirect immunofluorescence(IIFT)
  • Autoimmune Encephalitis Mosaic1 IIFT test
  • CSF Oligoclonal Band test
  • Paraneoplastic Neurologic Syndrome test
  • ANA Global test
  • Granulocyte Mosaic13-ANCA test
  • Paraprotein Detection
  • Anti-thyroid antibody detection
  • CD19 and CD27 count by flow cytometry
  • Stem cell enumeration-viable CD34 count by flow cytometry


Dr Lekha Pandit
  • Fulbright Nehru scholar (Academic & Professional Excellence)- 2018-2019 Visiting Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA - 2018- 2019)
  • Member (Invited), International clinical consortium ,Guthy Jackson Neuromyelitis Optica foundation, USA- 2011- current
  • Member (nominated), Central organizing committee . Pan Asian committee for Treatment a& research in MS (PACTRIMS)- 2013- current.
  • Member (nominated), Medical Board, Multiple sclerosis International federation (MSIF),UK. Federation( MSIF)- 2011-2019.
  1. Dr Lekha Pandit was interviewed by Professor Wijeratne on behalf of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) Chair for world brain day. World brain day celebration of 2021 has adopted Multiple sclerosis as the theme for focus. In this connection prominent neurological experts from different regions of the world were interviewed. From India. Dr Lekha Pandit addressed the challenges faced in the diagnosis and the management of these patients from a developing country perspective. She spoke about the Mangalore demyelinating disease registry (MANDDIR), established since 2007, at Nitte (deemed to be university), centre for advanced neurological research. She highlighted that this registry manages more than 1500 patients with demyelinating disorders from all over India with many patient friendly initiatives supported by Nitte. Dr Lekha Pandit spoke at length about her experience using of-label therapies and generics in controlling Mutliple Sclerosis and the need to have regional guidelines for therapy in the developing world. https://youtu.be/NYcm9omE9Tw
  2. NEW PROJECT: International MOGAD diagnostic criteria project Dr Lekha Pandit has been invited to be a member of the International Panel for classification of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody Diseases (MOGAD)
  3. The Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) has initiated a collaborative effort to update recommendations for clinical approaches to the differential diagnosis of MS. On behalf of the steering committee of the international MS Differential Diagnosis Consortium, Dr Lekha Pandit is invited to participate in the working group to produce a paper for the topic titled Differential Diagnosis Considerations in Non- Western Geographic Regions.
Invited lectures:
  • Dr Lekha Pandit was invited to speak at the 8th European committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Focused Workshop 2021 on “The Risk of Infections for MS Disease Modifying Treatments (DMTs)” which was held fully digital on 14 and 21 April 2021
  • Dr Lekha Pandit, was invited as speaker at Pan-Asian Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (PACTRIMS) inaugural educational webinar PACTMAN series 01 held Virtual on 29-04-2021
New publications:
  • Pandit L, Malli C, D’Cunha A, Sudhir A. Role of Viral Infections in Multiple Sclerosis pathogenesis among Indian Population. Neurol India2020;69:681-5
  • Malli C, Pandit L, D’Cunha A, Sudhir A . Coexistence of autoantibodies and other autoimmune diseases with Multiple Sclerosis and related disorders – Experience from the Mangalore Demyelinating Disease Registry (MANDDIR). Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2021 DOI:10.4103/aian.AIAN_170_21
  • Soares-dos-Reis R , Li Tsz-Ching J , Kim S H, Jacob A , Whittam D , Berthelot E , Paul F,Nakashima I , Noi Tye JS, De Seze J, Jitprapaikulsan J , Tan K , Yang L , Elsone L , IsabelLeite M , Mealy M A , Levy M , Fan M , Siebert N , Asgari N , Cabre P , Siritho S , Pittock S J, Wing-Ho SC , Senger T , Yeo T, Takai Y , Pandit L , Kim H J , Palace J , The Asian and African/Caribbean AQP4-NMOSD patient outcomes according to self-identified race and place of residence, Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.103080
  • Pandit L, Mustafa S. Epidemiology and clinical features of demyelinating disorders in India.Neurology and Clinical Neuroscience 2021: https://doi.org/10.1111/ncn3.12488
  • D’Cunha A, Pandit L, Malli C, Sudhir A. Evaluating the role of HLA DRB1 alleles and oligoclonal bands in influencing clinical course of Multiple Sclerosis– A study from the Mangalore demyelinating disease registry. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2021:DOI:10.4103/aian.AIAN_508_20