The examination of brain tissue can contribute to research about Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, including research into new treatments. Brain donations are essential to furthering these research advancements. Planning ahead will help in this process of giving the ultimate gift.
When donating a brain to research
- Arrangements must be made with a research center, tissue or brain bank, or university well in advance of the person's death.
- Research centers often only accept brain tissue from individuals who have participated in a research study at the center.
- Many organizations are not set up to accept a brain donation without prior arrangement; there may be eligibility requirements and consent forms to sign.
- If the person with Alzheimer's did not make his/her wishes known for brain donation, the next of kin or legal guardian makes the decision.
The Florida Brain Bank
The Florida Brain Bank is supported by the Department of Elder Affairs through its Alzheimer's Disease Initiative.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center
715 Douglas Avenue,
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Brain Bank Line: 407-646-9864
Agency Telephone: 407-436-7750
National Institutes of Health (NIH) NeuroBioBank
The NeuroBioBank program includes five banks that accept donations from individuals with neurological disorders resulting in dementia, including, but not limited to, vascular, frontotemporal and Lewy body dementia. Individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease are referred to the Alzheimer's Disease Centers program, as space at the brain banks is limited.
The five brain banks are:
- University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank (800.847.1539, firstname.lastname@example.org, accepts donations from all U.S. states except Hawaii, does not accept Alzheimer's donations).
- Brain Endowment Bank, University of Miami (800.862.7246, accepts donations from most U.S. states, does not accept Alzheimer's donations).
- The Human Brain and Spinal Fluid Resource Center (310.268.3536, email@example.com, accepts donations from most U.S. states, does not accept Alzheimer's donations).
- Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (800.272.4622, accepts donations from all U.S. states except Alaska, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, does not accept Alzheimer's donations).
- Mount Sinai NIH Brain and Tissue Repository (718.584.9000 ext.6083, NBTR@mssm.edu, accepts donations only from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, unknown whether Alzheimer's donations are accepted).
Additional information from the Alzhimer's Assocation about brain donation.