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Newcastle Brain bank

Brains for Dementia Research

15 months after patients joined the study, they were asked if they would provide their brains for research when they died. About 75 people have now given their brains to the study.

Knowledge and treatments for dementia are very limited, partly because research cannot, in many cases be carried out without the use of human tissue. 

Brains are used after people have died so that scientists can understand how symptoms in life affect the brain. This enables them to try and develop treatments. The most useful brain tissue for research comes from individuals who have clinical assessment during life.  This involves informal interview style assessments with a trained research worker, every year for those with a diagnosis of memory impairment. The assessment interviews take about two hours.

It is important in dementia research to have healthy brains (called ‘normal controls’) for comparison, from individuals who have also been clinically assessed in the same way, but every two to five years. There is a particular shortage of healthy brain tissue donated after death yet these donations are equally important to research. If you do not have a neurological disease but are thinking of brain donation please let us know this. 

If you feel this is something you would like to do, you will be given as much information as you require, an opportunity to discuss taking part with the research team and to ask as many questions as you like.  You may take as much time as you feel you need to consider your decision.  If you decide to take part we will ask you to complete a consent form.  If you decide brain donation is not for you at any point, your decision will be respected and your care will not be influenced in any way.


If you would like to know more about the Newcastle brain bank or are interested in donating your brain please click here, you will be taken to the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource Website