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Cell Tissue Bank. 2018 Dec;19(4):473-488. doi: 10.1007/s10561-018-9720-3. Epub 2018 Sep 15.

Banking brains: a pre-mortem "how to" guide to successful donation.

Author information

1
Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
2
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA.
3
Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
4
Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. elan.louis@yale.edu.
5
Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. elan.louis@yale.edu.
6
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA. elan.louis@yale.edu.

Abstract

A review of the brain banking literature reveals a primary focus either on the factors that influence the decision to become a future donor or on the brain tissue processing that takes place after the individual has died (i.e., the front-end or back-end processes). What has not been sufficiently detailed, however, is the complex and involved process that takes place after this decision to become a future donor is made yet before post-mortem processing occurs (i.e., the large middle-ground). This generally represents a period of many years during which the brain bank is actively engaged with donors to ensure that valuable clinical information is prospectively collected and that their donation is eventually completed. For the past 15 years, the Essential Tremor Centralized Brain Repository has been actively involved in brain banking, and our experience has provided us valuable insights that may be useful for researchers interested in establishing their own brain banking efforts. In this piece, we fill a gap in the literature by detailing the processes of enrolling participants, creating individualized brain donation plans, collecting clinical information and regularly following-up with donors to update that information, and efficiently coordinating the brain harvest when death finally arrives.

KEYWORDS:

Autopsy; Brain banking; Brain donation; Enrollment; Essential tremor; Follow-up; Pre-mortem

PMID:
30220002
PMCID:
PMC6279548
[Available on 2019-12-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s10561-018-9720-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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