Victorian Brain Bank Prospective Donors

The brain is a very complex structure. Many conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, motor neurone disease, schizophrenia, and other brain and mind disorders affect only humans.

Therefore the donation of post-mortem brain tissue and related samples for research is of fundamental importance to further our understanding of the causes of these brain and mind disorders, and are essential for research devoted to finding treatments and cures.

What is brain donation?
Why is brain donation important?
What is meant by brain tissue?
How can I participate?

What is brain donation?

Brain donation is when a person and/or their family decide to donate their brain for medical research following death.  Brain donation is fundamental to advancing the understanding of diseases that affect the brain, and also require people without brain diseases to participate for comparison purposes.

Why is brain donation important?

Although over the past decades many advances have been made in our understanding of diseases that affect the brain, there are still no cures for these conditions. Modern brain imaging techniques, blood tests and genetic markers are helping to improve the characterisation of brain diseases, but without understanding the changes that occur in the brain, the impact of these advances will be limited.

In order to develop more effective treatments for diseases that affect the brain, studies are needed to identify the specific cellular changes occurring in the brain of people with those diseases compared with healthy subjects.

What is meant by brain tissue?

We mean the whole brain. The brain is a very complex structure and it is necessary to look at all the different parts of the brain. In some conditions the spinal cord is also essential for the confirmation of diagnosis and research. If this is specifically stated on the consent form, consent to donate spinal cord can be given.

How can I participate?

The VBB accepts those who have pre-consented with a focus on particular brain disorders, with confirmed clinical history by a clinician and accompanying medical information, clinical indicated referrals by a treating clinician and participating longitudinal study participants (unfortunately not all conditions or brain diseases can be accepted).

Prior to registering as a donor please note to be useful to researchers, post-mortem tissue must be collected and stored as soon as possible after death.  This will not always be possible as obstacles of timing (including public/university holidays), distance or available resources may arise.

For further information about brain donation contact Fairlie Hinton, VBB Coordinator

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
30 Royal Parade
PARKVILLE VIC 3052

T: 61 3 8344 1900
F: 61 3 9349 5105
E: fairlie.hinton@florey.edu.au


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