The donation of brain, pituitary tissue, spinal cord, and cerebrospinal fluid after death

You are probably familiar with organ donations of the heart, kidneys or eyes to sustain the health or even the life of people in need. Brain donation for research is a precious and unique gift. Scientists can learn and understand more about disease processes when they are able to work on donated tissue.

Ultimately, we hope that scientific work of this kind will lead to better and more effective treatments and that future  generations will benefit from your help. There are many diseases affecting the brain. These include the various forms of dementia (such as Alzheimer’s dementia), and also brain infections, metabolic disease, psychiatric diseases and tumours.

Medical professionals involved in research and working with patients affected by these diseases need to study the tissue in detail, and this can only be done after death. The donation of brain, pituitary tissue and CSF, and on occasions spinal cord,  after death is a big decision and needs to be discussed with family and friends.

Advice is available from the Cambridge Brain Bank research nurse Jenny Wilson who would be very happy to discuss any concerns or questions you or your family may have.

Contact details are as follows:

Telephone number 01223 217336 or email

Or download the patient information leaflets below for further information

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Last updated: 17 August 2017