Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies announced on Thursday, a grant of ₹100 crore to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences(NIMHANS) and the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) to set up the ‘Centre for Brain and Mind’.

The centre will further cutting-edge research to understand the causes, correlation, and course of five major illnesses—schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dementia, and addiction—and explore potential interventions and treatments for them.

According to the agreement, the Nilekani Philanthropies Foundation will fund the Centre for Brain and Mind’s (CBM) operations for five years, beginning in April 2023. Throughout a five-year period, CBM will simultaneously pursue two tracks-long-term research and building capacity for both research and practise in the mental health field.

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“Through this grant, I hope that a collaboration between two apex institutions of this country will provide globally relevant insights, evidence, and pathways for better treatment for millions of people in India and around the world. The Centre for Brain and Mind hopes to build an ecosystem for the larger community of mental health practitioners. Its research on five critical disorders, which will be pathbreaking, will be open-sourced to allow more innovation in both academics and practice,” saidRohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies.

There is a need to develop more effective methods for detecting and treating these diseases, as there are over 193 million people in India who experience various types of mental illness, the foundation noted in a press release. 

How the grant helps?

With the help of the new grant, current procedures will be strengthened, the database and repository can become open source, and it will be used to the fullest extent possible by researchers all over the world.

Additionally, The centre will create a core group of clinician researchers and fundamental scientists knowledgeable in important technologies and cutting-edge approaches and a pipeline of young researchers to carry out this long-term inquiry.

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“NIMHANS has been collaborating with NCBS and InStem to study a large number of families of patients with severe mental illnesses and generate a longitudinal cohort. The in-depth biological and clinical assessment of this cohort has immense potential for breakthrough discoveries, with implications in turn for translation into better care for persons with mental illnesses,” said Pratima Murthy, Director, NIMHANS.