Making a Better World, One Brain At a Time

There is a shortage of brains.

No, this has nothing to do with politics.  It’s about medical research.

Neuroscientists require all kinds of brain tissue to study diseases that affect at least 15 percent of people around the world.  I’m sure you’re well-versed with the concept of organ donation.  Unfortunately, simply filling out an organ-donor card doesn’t work in this case.  But there is an organization addressing this shortage  —  the Brain Donor Project ( https://braindonorproject.org/ ), a tax-exempt nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the supply of human brains donated for scientific researchThe Project supports the NeuroBioBank of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), formed in 2013 to collect, store and distribute brain tissue to scientists across the country.  From the Project’s website —

One out of every six people is suffering from a devastating neurological disorder or disease.  That’s why brain donation is critically needed.  Diagnoses of autism and dementia is rising at an alarming rate, addiction is crushing families and mental illness can be devastating.  Since the chances of developing a brain disorder increase with age—and Americans are now living longer than ever—the number of people in our population with disorders will rise significantly.  Brain donation will help increase the availability of brain tissue for study to find answers & treatments for these diseases.

The website is all-inclusive, including providing a registration form and answering questions like —

If I donate my brain, can I still have an open casket viewing?

Yes.  Brain removal does not cause disfigurement.

So if you’re interested in helping medical science, and anyone can become a donor (seriously!), this is a good topic to research further.

(The photo came from “More Brains Make Research Possible” in the October 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine.  This article can be accessed through the NIH NeuroBioBank website.)

 

 

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