Who is eligible to donate?
Anyone can become a brain donor. We accept donors aging from neonates through people one hundred years or older. While our primary research focus is neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders, we encourage donations from healthy persons who are not affected. Donated tissues from healthy individuals are just as necessary as those with neurological or psychiatric disorders. Studying a healthy brain helps scientists to understand how the brain works normally and why others are more at risk.
Can I change my mind?
Indicating your intent to participate in research on the enclosed forms is not a binding commitment. You may change your mind at any time.
Is there a cost to me?
Families will incur no costs as a result of study participation.
Will donating affect funeral/burial/ arrangements?
Brain tissue donation will not affect funeral or burial arrangements that the family may choose. There is no disruption to the participant’s appearance and no significant postponement to funeral arrangements.
Will I receive feedback/findings?
A few months following autopsy, a neuropathology report is available to the participant’s family and/or designated physicians upon request. Our staff is always available to discuss the findings if requested.
I’m an organ donor on my driver’s license. Does that mean I’m a brain donor?
No. Signing up as an organ donor on your driver’s license does not always guarantee that your brain will be donated at time of death. The best way to ensure that brain donation is a final gift is to pre-register with our program. You will receive an enrollment card that you may keep on your person to indicate your final wish and let others know that this is your intention.
Once your intake screen is complete, you will be sent a registration packet. The signed authorization and return of the materials in the packet officially enrolls you or a loved one as a member of our donor program.