With knowledge comes a cure.
Our brain donor program supports a wide range of projects at Mount Sinai. As a brain bank, we collect brains, make diagnoses, and provide these valuable tissues to researchers investigating human brain conditions. Brain tissue is essential to perform genetic, biochemical, and cellular studies. We work closely with neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists and others to make this research possible. Our donors’ contribution to this invaluable work becomes a part of their legacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are brains a critical resource for science?
Studying the brain after death is the best way for doctors to accurately diagnose brain diseases and for scientists to make discoveries that might lead to a cure. However, finding enough brain donors is a constant challenge.
Who can participate?
Anyone. It is important to obtain brains from individuals with a wide range of symptoms and diagnoses. Additionally, it is extremely important to have participation from healthy individuals for comparison. No religions prohibit brain donation.
Will my identity be kept confidential?
Prior to analysis, tissue disbursement, or publications, all identifiers will be removed.
Is there a cost to my family?
If possible, the family can cover the transportation costs to and from Mount Sinai Hospital. However, we do not want this to affect your decision and this cost can be waived. There is no additional cost to the family for the autopsy report.
Will brain donation affect funeral arrangements?
No. The brain donation will not alter the individual’s appearance and will not delay funeral arrangements.
Will my family receive the results of the autopsy?
Yes. A report containing a detailed summary of the findings from the examination will be provided to your family.
When can I enroll?
To participate in this meaningful program, please discuss this with your physician today or contact our brain bank coordinator or by phone at (212) 659-8617.
It is important to plan ahead so your wishes can be carried out as smoothly as possible without causing any delays to funeral plans.
I have decided to enroll, what are my next steps?
- Enroll in our program by completing the Brain Bank Questionnaire
- Please complete the Medical Release Form signed by the next-of-kin or the donor
- Potential donors or next-of-kin should complete the Anatomical Gift Consent Form to declare their intent to donate brain tissue after their passing. In order for us to proceed with the autopsy, the next-of-kin must also sign the Autopsy Consent Form
Once completed, please send all the documents to Alessandra Cervera. Upon passing, family members or next of kin will contact the coordinator who will assist with transportation.