Brain Donation

CHeBA has an established brain tissue donation program which operates in collaboration with the Sydney Brain Bank (part of the Australian Brain Bank Network). Research participants are asked whether they would consider bequeathing their brain tissue for medical research – similar to people donating tissue for organ transplants. We hope that once enough tissue is collected we will be able to identify the features and changes in brain tissue which underlie brain-ageing and the onset of dementia.

In the event of your loved one’s passing, call our Brain Donation Hotline as soon as possible on (02) 8936 1100 and ask for the Brain Donation Liaison Officer to be paged.

Participants in any of the CHeBA studies (MAS, OATS, SCS) can request more information or sign up to the program by simply contacting the study with which they are involved:

 

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Dr Kristan Kang is CHeBA’s Data Manager and Co-ordinator of the Brain Donation Program and the CHeBA Research Bank. He provides guidance to CHeBA on research governance and ethics and ensures the safe handling of CHeBA’s research collections.

The CHeBA Brain Donation Program collaborates with a number of other brain bank networks, including the Sydney Brain Bank, the Victorian Brain Bank Network, the Queensland Brain Bank and the Australian Brain Bank Network.  The CHeBA Brain Donation Program collects brain tissue from donors sourced from the Memory & Ageing Study (MAS), Older Australian Twins Study (OATS), and the Sydney Centenarian Study (SCS). As all our donors have participated in our longitudinal research, CHeBA possesses rich and extensive pre-mortem clinical, behavioural, and biomarker data on its donors. This allows a unique opportunity to analyse post-mortem brain tissue and neuropathology relative to pre-mortem health, and the possibility of studying the neural pathology and outcomes of normal ageing and dementia at the microscopic level. Our research participants range from healthy ‘controls’ to those with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, as well as including rare phenotypes such as the extreme-elderly (95+ years) and twins. This allows for the opportunity to do detailed research into multiple aspects of ageing including healthy ageing, dementia and cognitive decline, as well as the role of genetics in ageing.

In 2017, six new brains were donated to the CHeBA Brain Donation Program, while an additional four research participants signed up.