Get involved with brain donation: Register as a brain donor with Brains for Dementia Research
A lot of research into dementia relies on generously donated brain tissue but supplies are running low. Help support dementia research in the UK and register as a brain donor today.
Why is brain donation important?
To fully understand dementia researchers need to study brain tissue.
Brains are highly complex organs. It is difficult to develop a good model of a human brain in the lab. Research with animals can help to give insights but there's no substitute for the real thing.
Brain tissue is not covered by standard organ donation schemes and many people are not aware of the current shortage of tissue for research. People both with and without dementia can play a valuable role in the future of dementia research by registering as a brain donor.Research using brain tissue has led to some of the most important breakthroughs in dementia research.
Brains for Dementia Research
Brains for Dementia Research (BDR) is a network of brain bank facilities across England and Wales.
The BDR programme is funded equally by Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK. We are grateful to the contribution made from the MRC to brain banking who generously provide service support costs, and the NIHR who provide clinical infrastructure. BDR is part of the wider MRC UK Brain Bank Network.
BDR aims to set a gold standard for brain donation by coordinating brain banks across the country and providing high quality tissue to researchers.
We hope to enable more people to get involved in brain donation, thus boosting the number of brains available for this important research.
BDR is unique because every brain donor is monitored throughout their later life. This means that a complete medical history is available to accompany their donated brain tissue. This is crucial to allow researchers to make the most of donated tissue.
BDR run an online database of brain tissue. Researchers can search the database and apply to BDR for samples.
If you are over 65 and interested in becoming a brain donor please contact BDR for more information.
More information about brain donation and how to register as a donor on the Brains for Dementia Research website
Find out more about the importance of donated tissue in dementia research
Read our factsheet on brain donation
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