Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences

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Last Updated: September 1, 2005
Other Name: DIPAS
Location: Delhi, India
Subordinate To: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Size: N/A
Facility Status: Active

Established in Madras in 1962, as the Armed Forces increased research in the fields of high altitude physiology, psychology, nutrition, and biochemistry. In 1968, it was relocated within the Army Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment. In 1993, it was again relocated to its current location on Lucknow Road in Delhi.

DIPAS carries out consultancy work in physiology and biochemistry. In addition, it performs research and development in the fields of physiology, biochemistry, and nutrition, with the goal of improving the operational efficiency of soldiers. Furthermore, it provides training in the field of applied psychology, as demanded by the Armed Services.

Studies on metabolism, nutrition, and reproduction under stressful and toxic environments are carried out, as well as on the neurophysiological and psychological aspects of occupational and environmental stress. Also, with the goal of improving soldier performance through better physical comforts, studies looking at man-machine integration are being performed.

In the field of high-altitude physiology, the institute has discovered a way to use NO and O2 in the treatment of high altitude pulmonary edema, physiological glucocorticoids as a prophylactic measure against acute mountain sickness, and the use of a glutamic acid supplementation in a diet to improve hypophagia and improve high altitude tolerance. It has also created ways to use Aloe vera in the treatment of frostbite, and Pentoxifyl-line and aspirin in managing cold injuries. It has developed a solid-state cooling garment for tank crew, investigated mutagenic and carcinogenic potentialities of microwaves, and performed a large-scale, high-altitude trial of a composite Indian herbal preparation to be introduced into the Army.

The institute maintains a database on the Indian population. A database containing information related to the nutritional requirements of the Indian population under various stress/environmental conditions is maintained as well.

The institute also maintains a database looking at the work capacity of individuals under a variety of stress conditions such as extreme heat, cold, and hypoxia, along with the capacity to work during physical training and yoga practices. A large amount of research has been performed looking at the effect of yoga practices on individual's physiological, biochemical, and psychological functions under stressful conditions. Furthermore, this know-how has allowed the institute to develop "adaptogenic agents" to help ease trauma and enhance one's adaptation to the specific stress condition.

Another large database dealing with psychophysiological responses and tolerance of dry and humid heat, hydration status of individuals in these environments, and their work performance in these conditions is maintained. It also contains data on ameliorative measures for these conditions, such as "ergogenic fluids" and other cooling mechanisms. In addition, a database is maintained on both humans and animals and their physiological response to extreme cold and injuries resulting from cold. Information is also kept on how to manage these environments and heal these injuries, with special attention devoted to developing medicines.

The institute maintains specialized equipment facilities to help it carry out its research, including a human decompression chamber, a human climatic chamber, a physiological monitoring system, a 3-D motion analysis model, an exercise test assembly, fundus cameras, a slit lamp microscope, a ophthalmoscope, an autorefractometer, blood gas analyses equipment, and a flow cytometer.

The institute has offered classes dealing with a variety of issues as part of its Continuing Education Program (CEP). Classes offered include Occupational Health and Safety, Man in the Occupational Environment, and Awareness of Occupational Stress and Management.

The institute also works with a number of outside institutes and universities, such as Bharathiar University in Combatore, the Central Council of Yoga and Naturopathy in Delhi, the Russian Ministry of Health, and the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. It conducted a study with the Bangalore Cancer Research Foundation, the Defense Institute of Psychology (DIPR), and the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology looking at the relationship of the stress of breast cancer patients and the neuroendocrine response leading to immune modulation, which can help determine the progression, treatment, and the prognosis of the disease.

Sources:
[1] Defense Institute pf Physiology & Allied Sciences, www.drdo.org.
[2] President of India, "Occasion of Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology," 26 November 2002, http://presidentofindia.nic.in.
[3] Science, Information, Spirit, www.ifmo.ru.

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