Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource

Brain Donations

Even though progress in research towards finding causes of and treatments for a wide variety of diseases and disorders is a concern for all of us, few people realize that in many cases it cannot be achieved without human tissue.

The donation of brain tissue to research is an invaluable source of help. Studies using human brain tissue are essential in increasing our understanding of brain ageing and related diseases and are the best way for us to search for more effective diagnoses and treatments.

At the Institute for Ageing and Health research projects are currently running with the help of volunteers diagnosed with diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lewy Body dementia and Stroke. Studying tissue donated by sufferers of these diseases helps us to discover what brain changes take place during the course of the disease and increases our overall understanding.

Who can donate tissue?

Each individual brain tissue donation is very important to us. At present we are only able to accept donations of affected tissue from people who are part of the Institute's study programmes and are extremely grateful to those patients and families who continue to facilitate our research in this way.

Brain tissue from donors without memory impairment is also a very important gift. Research progress already made would not have been possible without healthy tissue which is used to establish the brain changes which occur in normal ageing rather than as a result of disease. We would like to encourage people without neurological difficulties to consider donating brain tissue at the time of their death and have a register to which prospective normal donors aged 65 years and over may wish to add their name.

For more information please contact our nurse liaison team who will be happy to provide you with more information.

E-mail: nbtr@ncl.ac.uk or telephone research nurses:

  • Debbie Lett on 0191 248 1231 or
  • Susan Richardson on 0191 248 1229