Brain museum
[Representational image]Creative Commons 

India's sole brain museum is all set for a digital makeover. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) proposed to bring in virtual display and video modules of the specimens.

The museum has over 500 brain specimens but does not have any graphical information to explain those models on display.

Director of NIMHANS, Dr B N Gangadhar said that there is a proposal to have a visual display that explains about the models. And these would be made interactive to grab eyeballs.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had been providing support to hold education sessions at the museum. NIMHANS has sought for ICMR funding as well.

Dr Anita Mahadevan, associate coordinator of Human Brain Tissue Repository said that the proposed digitisation is in the lines with the ones seen abroad. These specimens which have been collected over decades will now have videos alongside.

The oldest one dates back to 1975 which is of a nine-year-old who was a victim of ox attack. "The family consented to an autopsy and the brain was stored," she told The New Indian Express.

The museum also houses two brains of patients with rare brain development issues. One was with hemistrophy (1981) and another one with hemimegalencephaly (1985) - where one side of the brain is bigger than the other.

As interesting as it sounds, it also has specimens of brains affected by worms, head injury, cancer and tumours.

What started in a single room house with just 200 specimen now houses about 500. It also consists of Brain Repository with parts of brains stored in sub zero temperatures which can be used by researchers free of cost.

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