49th Annual Conference of the Society of Nuclear Medicine – India SNMICON was held in New Delhi.
Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty involving the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nuclear medicine, in a sense, is “radiology done inside out” or “endoradiology” because it records radiation emitting from within the body rather than radiation that is generated by external sources like X-rays.
In addition, nuclear medicine scans differ from radiology as the emphasis is not on imaging anatomy but the function and for such reason, it is called a physiological imaging modality. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans are the two most common imaging modalities in nuclear medicine.
Advances in medical science have led to significant improvements in our quality of life. Increase in life expectancy, cure of hitherto incurable diseases and the ability to understand the human body can all be attributed to these advancements. The role of nuclear medicine has gained significant momentum over the past few years.
A dedicated research laboratory of DRDO Life Cluster, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) is making considerable contribution in the research of nuclear medicine, thereby exemplifying the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
INMAS has always taken a lead with academic developments in the areas of radiation and imaging sciences. The contributions of INMAS are a clear example of how research supported by the Ministry of Defence has significant benefits for society at large.
The Vision of INMAS has been identified as to be a center of excellence in biomedical and clinical research with special reference to ionizing radiation.
The Mission of INMAS is clinical research in nuclear medicine and non-invasive imaging methods with a focus on biological radio-protectors and thyroid disorders
Core Competence of INMS:
Area I: Biological Radioprotection (Radiation countermeasures)
Area II: Management of Thyroid Disorders
Area III: Nuclear and Medical Imaging
Background of INMS:
It was at the behest of Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, then the Prime Minister of India, that the institute was conceived with the theme of “Atom for Peace” dedicated exclusively to peaceful application of radiation i.e., diagnosis & treatment of patients with Radio-Isotopes in a variety of ailments specially cancers etc.
To begin with patients with thyroid disorders were involved as thyroid is one of the organs affected by radiation and is easy to study using Radio-iodine. Basic & applied research was also started in the field of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biosciences.
With the initiative of Lt Col Mazumdar and unstinted support from the Government of India Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, now familiarly known as INMAS across the globe, was established under the Defence Research & Development Organisation or DRDO in 1961.
The Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) is a mandated multidisciplinary laboratory of DRDO engaged in R&D activities in the field of Radiation,Imaging Sciences and CBRN technologies.
INMAS is one of the very few Institutions that can boast of having an enviable contingent of highly skilled Scientists, clinical researchers and biomedical professionals working towards common goals and objectives.
One of the charters is to establish as a center of excellence in biomedical & clinical research with special reference to radiation, neurocognitive imaging and CBRN research. The main thrust areas of INAMS are development of radio protectors, development of diagnostics and therapeutic approaches using noninvasive imaging techniques, neurocognitive and endocrine functional assessment of human body.
INMAS has always taken a lead with academic developments in the areas of radiation and imaging sciences since its inception. DRM course started under the aegis of Delhi University way back in 1962 was first of its kind in the world and continues even today.
Currently DNB course in Radiology and guest teaching at various courses at Delhi University are among the additional academic activities that the institute is involved in. Academic accomplishments of INMAS are continuously growing, with increase in the number and impact factor of research publications.
A major development in the recent past has been the establishment of NMR, PET-Cyclotron facility that has made significant contributions in development of technologies for enhancing combat efficiency besides providing clinical research to the Armed forces. The institute also pursues a strong research program with application in various stress related disorders using NMR techniques including metabolomics, in vivo spectroscopy and functional MRI (fMRI).
INMAS has established a number of non-invasive and innovative Nuclear Medicine methods. For soldiers working at high altitudes a method for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of various ailments including cold injuries (frost bite) has been developed.