Center for Clinical Research
Centre for Clinical Research
The Centre for Clinical Research (CCR) is the specialized clinical research arm of the Institute of Transdisciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (IHST), established with the support from the Jamsetji Tata Trusts, Mumbai. The Centre is the result of a commitment of the Institute to clinical research in Ayurveda and currently consists of a dozen research staff stationed in the 100 beddedIntegrative Healthcare Centre.
It is envisioned to emerge as a center of national prominence for clinical research and public health initiatives in Ayurveda by creating innovative benchmarks through integration of Ayurveda with other healthcare systems including western biomedicine (allopathy) and novel initiatives that suitably combine advanced clinical research methodologies with the scientific integrity and wisdom of Ayurveda
Current Programs (2013-14)
• Developing internationally accepted standards for reporting clinical trials in Ayurveda: This is a pioneering attempt towards factoring in the complexities of the holistic framework of Ayurveda into clinical research. Currently a guideline for reporting trials in Ayurveda on the lines of CONSORT is being developed, that would facilitate comprehensive and transparent reporting of trials in Ayurveda. It is intended to benefit multiple stake holders of Ayurveda and can significantly enhance credibility of research in Ayurveda.
• Demonstrating methodology for ‘Whole systems’ clinical research in Ayurveda: This endeavour aims to make available the first line of evidence for safety and effectiveness of Ayurveda treatments through a rigorous integrative documentation of cases managed at the in-house Healthcare Centre. Currently, cases of Sandhigata vata (Osteo Arthritis) and Prameha (Diabetes) are being recorded integrating internationally acceptable documentation protocols with Ayurvedic parameters. A case series on the benefits of Ayurvedic intervention on Gradrsi (Lumbago with sciatica) is in press and will appear in the forthcoming issue of JMDA
• Rapid validation and Pharmaco-epidemiological studies: A Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey is an accepted means of collection of information. We have undertaken the first ever KAP survey in Ayurvedic research, involving leading Ayurveda clinicians from across the country to collect information regarding current trends in diagnosis, clinical classification and management of Pandu (Iron deficiency anemia). The outcome of the study will guide future research in Anemia management
• A novel tool for Integrative Master Health Check (IMHC): Ayurveda’s core strength is on wellness and personalised care. We are enhancing the use of standard, western bio-medicine based health check-up programs by integrating it with Ayurvedic health evaluation methods such as Prakriti (constitution). This in turn will guide personalised advice on diet and lifestyle. A protocol has been developed by combining diagnostic tests of Western bio-medicine and Ayurveda concepts
• Public health: These initiatives are aimed at revitalizing Public Health dimensions of Ayurveda and Local Health Traditions.
Malaria: Clinical documentation and assessment of traditional plant based remedy for prevention of malaria in endemic areas initiated. In addition, pre-clinical study of a plant based remedy completed in collaboration with INSERM, Paris
Drinking water: Field testing the copper device developed by the School of Life Sciences and Technology
• Prevention of mastitis: Field trials demonstrate reduction in the incidence of mastitis amongst the dairy cattle using herbal preparations formulated on the basis of Ayurvedic pharmacology.
Future Programs visualized (2014-19)
• New paradigms for Clinical Research in Ayurveda:The focus will be on designing rigorous, multi-variate, ‘whole systems’ clinical research methodologies to suit the systemic analysis and management principles of Ayurveda. Another operational dimension will be development of intelligent, computer-aided Clinical Data Management Systems that can handle and analyse both Ayurvedic and western biomedicine clinical data. Priority areas of clinical research will be Neurodegenerative diseases, Metabolic Syndrome, Musculoskeletal diseases, Women health and Retinal diseases.
• Design strategic Public Health initiatives based on traditional knowledge: In areas like (i) low-cost herbal prophylaxis for malaria, (ii) use of copper for microbial purification of drinking water (iii) nutritional and herbal interventions for anemia (iv) low-cost herbal remedies for mastitis in cattle.
• Assessment of efficacy of ecosystem specific plants for self-reliance of rural communities in Primary Health Care: All India coordinated research program, involving network of scientific institutions and universities, will be set up, in selected Talukas in different regions of the country.