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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Jan;10(1):70-8. doi: 10.1038/nrn2535. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Brain banking: opportunities, challenges and meaning for the future.

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Institute of Neuropathology, Feodor-Lynen-Strasse 23, Munich, 81377, Germany.


Brain banks collect post-mortem human brains to foster research into human CNS function and disease. They have been indispensable for uncovering the secrets of many diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. At a time when there are so many open questions in neuroscience and the incidence of brain diseases continues to increase in parallel with the aging of the population, brain banking remains at the heart of brain research. However, the major source of brain banks, the clinical autopsy, is rapidly falling into limbo. New strategies, including donor programmes, medico-legal autopsies and banking in networks, as well as fresh considerations of the ethics and public relations, are required.

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