Understanding Parkinson’s Disease: From Clinics to Basics,
Bangalore, India

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease: From Clinics to Basics –  March 5-7, 2014, Bangalore, India
-Phalguni Anand Alladi, MSc, PhD, Senior Scientific Officer, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India

The course entitled Understanding Parkinson’s Disease: From Clinics to Basics, took place in Bangalore, India on March 5-7, 2014 at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS). This MDS-AOS Developing World Education Program familiarized basic science researchers to the clinical aspects of Parkinson’s disease and clinicians to basic science, thus bringing clinicians and basic scientists together to understand the common language of Parkinson’s disease.

The course was organized by Dr. Phalguni Anand Alladi (Organizer), Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Neurophysiology and Dr. Pramod Kumar Pal (Co-organizer), Professor of Neurology, with a grant from the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society under the Developing World Education Program.

The course began with the Director of NIMHANS, Dr. P. Satishchandra and acting Registrar, Dr. S. Chaturvedi, inaugurating the program by lighting the traditional lamp. Dr. Satishchanda and Dr. Chaturvedi asserted that this kind of interaction between clinicians and basic scientists is vital for the growth of science and ultimately patient care. They also noted that this meeting could be a model for several other specialities. A similar view was expressed by Dr. Umamaheswara Rao, Dean of Neurosciences of NIMHANS at the concluding valedictory function.

The morning sessions were dedicated to lectures, conducted at the Neuroscience Faculty Block Auditorium of the Department of Neurology. The afternoon sessions were solely for hands-on-training and were conducted in the laboratories of Department of Neurophysiology. Eminent MDS faculty like Dr. Uday Muthane, Dr. Pramod Pal, Dr. Madhuri Behari (AIIMS, New Delhi), Dr. Shyamal Kumar Das (Kolkata) and Dr. Kaviraj Udupa (Toronto, Canada) delivered lectures on the clinical aspects of Parkinson’s disease (PD), clinical features & diagnostic criteria, motor and non-motor symptoms, biomarkers in PD, epidemiology of PD, transcranial magnetic stimulation and more. Dr. Jitender Saini (NIMHANS) discussed the role of neuroimaging in PD. Basic Science faculty including Dr. Subrata Basu Ray and Dr. Suman Jain (AIIMS, New Delhi), Dr. TR Raju, Dr. SK Shankar, Dr. Bharath Srinivas, Dr. Alladi  (NIMHANS) delivered talks on neuroanatomy, neuropathology and basic science aspects of the disease. The latter theme familiarized the participants with popular research approaches like nano particles, use of cellular models, beneficial effects of curcumin in experimental models, effects of age on nigra, etc. A talk by Dr. R. Kishore Kumar on Ayurvedic approaches in diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s disease brought in the perspective of the traditional Indian System of Medicine.

During the hands-on laboratory sessions the participants were taught immunohistochemical labelling of dopaminergic neurons as well as glia in mice midbrains. The participants were also taught the preliminary preparative steps. They performed both light microscopic and fluorescence staining techniques, and with the latter method they co-labelled multiple proteins. Thereafter, the techniques of stereology for absolute quantification of the neuronal/glial numbers as well as confocal microscopy were demonstrated.

The participants also performed off line quantitative estimation using image analysis software. Bedside evaluation of autonomic functions was also demonstrated by Dr. TN Sathyaprabha. The laboratory sessions on each day culminated with active discussions between the organizers, resource persons and participants. Additionally, the participants visited the Human Brain Museum and the Brain bank at the Department of Neuropathology, where they were shown human brain dissection and numerous exhibits of normal and diseased brains, by eminent neuropathologists Dr. SK Shankar and Dr. Anita Mahadevan. A visit to the Parkinson’s and Aging Research Foundation was arranged for the clinical residents.

The MDS faculty were appreciative of the stimulating question and answer sessions and active participation by the attendees. As the course directors, we are thankful to all the speakers for their lucid talks and the attendees for their enthusiastic participation. We were highly satisfied with the participants’ response and wish to thank the MDS for the generous financial support. Special thanks are due to the MDS committee members and particularly Ms. Megan Daniels who patiently answered all our queries and extended extraordinary support since the inception of the program, till date. Heartfelt thanks to everybody associated with the program!










Dr. Madhuri Behari delivering the talk









The attendees and participants at the inauguration





A group photo









Laboratory sessions




Visit to the Autonomic Functions Lab





Visit to the brain museum: with Dr. S. K. Shankar

  • Dr. Uday Muthane, Director, Parkinson's and Aging Research Foundation, Bangalore
  • Dr. Madhuri Behari, Prof. of Neurology, Department of Neurology AIIMS, New Delhi
  • Dr. SK Das, Professor & Head, Burdwan Medical College, West Bengal
  • Dr. Pramod Kr. Pal, Professor, Department of Neurology, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. Kaviraj Udupa, Post Doctoral fellow, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Toronto Western Research Institute, University of Toronto Canada
  • Dr. Subrata Basu Ray, Professor, Department of Anatomy, AIIMS, New Delhi
  • Dr. Suman Jain, Additional Professor, Department of Physiology, AIIMS, New Delhi
  • Dr. Jitender Saini, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroradiology, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. MM. Srinivas Bharath, Additional Professor, Department of Neurochemistry, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. SK Shankar, Emeritus Professor, Department of Neuropathology, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. TR Raju, Senior Professor & Head, Department of Neurophysiology, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. TN Sathyaprabha, Additional Professor, Department of Neurophysiology, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. Anita Mahadevan, Additional Professor, Department of Neuropathology, NIMHANS, Bangalore
  • Dr. Phalguni Anand Alladi, Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Neurophysiology, NIMHANS, Bangalore