For Patients

With knowledge comes a cure.

Our Partners

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 diagnose brain diseases accurately 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 and to have healthy individuals participate 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?
You can enroll yourself or on behalf of someone if you are their Next of Kin or Legal Authorized Representative at any time. You do not need to wait for a hospitalization, a move to hospice care, or the time of passing. In fact, the earlier a person is enrolled, the better because our team will stay in contact on a yearly basis until the time of passing.

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?

Please email or call 212-659-8617 during business hours Monday through Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, for questions, additional information, and other non-urgent matters. If you are calling on behalf of an imminent potential donor or a potential donor who has just passed, please call 212-659-8617 anytime. Our on-call coordinator will answer your call or call back as soon as possible.

To enroll, we will send a Brain Donation Packet containing an Anatomical Gift form, a Clinical History Questionnaire, a Medical Record Release form, and additional information by mail and/or email. Our coordinator can help you with the forms.