There is a Brain Museum at Bangalore. Radhakrishna visted this place some
time ago and shared the potential with Omshivaprakash and me. We had been
intending to go there, but some thing or other delayed it. This week I
ended up visiting them.
This is part of the neuropathology department of Nimhans. Dr Shankar is the
brain behind this. He is passionate about the topic and is embarked on
creating a great degree of awareness among the public.
Just as we have many organ donation program for the eyes, liver, kidney and
so on, there is also a organ donation program for brain, though it is not
transplanted. Though many volunteer to donate other organs brain is some
thing most people do not allow to be touched. Perhaps the identity of a
person is deeply associated with the brain. Mankind prefers to burn or bury
the organ than donate it. Perhaps the view is brain transplants are not
done, and hence this donation is not necessary. The real story is research
on brain related problems and their cures is constrained by the
availability of a fresh brain. As time elapses after death, the remnants of
the brain undergo certain structural changes and impede better study.
We all know of many brain related problems, Alzheimers, paralysis after
stroke, head injury due to two wheeler riders not wearing a helmet, spinal
chord injury due to a person not wearing a seat belt. There are many who
are not sensitive to the preventive measures. Even eating street food is a
potential cause for brain problems. If one sees the appropriate specimen
and then hear a pitch to wear a helmet / seatbelt, they can never refuse.
The messages are so powerful.
The brain museum contains about 300 specimen. Rat brain, duck brain,
chimpanzee brain, brains of human foetus of various ages, etc
Dr Shankar is a very passionate man. He wants to educate the world. He
loves to explain things to kids, and medical students. But he is vary of
publishing photographs and meta data for reasons he articulates with
conviction. Plagiarism and thesis writing on the basis of such data is some
thing he is keen to prevent. There is still a lot to be written about.
One catch may be this sort of articles may require wikipedians who are also
medicos. Do we have people with medical background, available for a
hackathon on this subject. How do we go about this? Kindly give us your
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