This database lists brain banks around the world that collect central nervous system tissue from various neurodegenerative diseases and normal aging controls. The banks share samples and attendant demographic and clinical information with qualified researchers worldwide. Many brain banks operate as part of larger consortia that maintain virtual inventories of their combined holdings and offer a centralized portal to match tissue requests with local supplies. To find nearby brain banks, see the map and search below. If you would like to suggest additional information to be added to this listing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Read an in-depth 2015 news series about brain banks in neurodegenerative disease research.
The National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center unites the collections of the neuropathology cores at 27 NIA-funded AD Research Centers into a single database. It contains records on 13,000 brains, 3,000 of them with extensive clinical and cognitive data.
The NeuroBioBank links six U.S. repositories through a common web portal; its member banks store tissue largely from neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases other than Alzheimer’s disease. All tissue is collected using the same standardized protocol.
This network links 10 U.K. banks that together contain samples from more than 10,000 brains into one centralized, searchable database. Network members have adopted standardized protocols for tissue processing.
The center has frozen tissue specimens from more than 500 patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases, tauopathy, and other neurodegenerative disease. Also controls who participated in longitudinal studies during their lifetimes. About 30 frozen specimens and about 50 paraffin blocks of biopsied brain tissue, formalin-fixed, paraformaldehyde-fixed, or cryopreserved. Tissues are collected from whole brain, hemispheres, spinal cord, also fasted CSF. They are available to researchers fixed, frozen, block, or stained. Click herefor details.
This center only accepts brain tissue from patients evaluated, tested, and treated in its clinic for several years. The center keeps both healthy and diseased brains, but has more of the latter. It is connected to other organizations through the NIA ADC NACC program, and shares its tissues with many other research organizations, including City of Hope.
This brain bank, biobank, and biospecimen bank derives its donors from the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease (AZSAND), a longitudinal clinicopathological study of elderly volunteers living in Maricopa county and metropolitan Phoenix. Studies focus on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, heart diseases, and cancer. Banked tissue, biomaterials and biospecimens are shared with qualified researchers worldwide.
The center accepts donations from residents of Sweden. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer’s disease, family history of Alzheimer’s, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson’s, CJD, Cadasil, schizophrenia, Down's syndrome, epilepsy, and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA4). Tissue is taken from whole brain, hemispheres, and spinal cord; it is fixed, frozen, block, and stained. An ethical permit is required. Non-academic customers can contact the bank to inquire about prices. Tissue request forms are at www.ki.se/brainbank. For further questions, contact email@example.com.
This brain bank is a joint project of the Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, and its resources are for collaborative studies. Collaborative investigators must be qualified by the institute. Qualifying studies require authorization by the institute's institutional review board, the hospital, and each facility involved. The center regards its resources as being in the public domain.
The bank collects brain tumors and spinal cord tumors from patients at the University Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, at the time of surgery. Samples of frozen tissue or paraffin blocks are available to researchers after approval by the bank's directors.
This MRC-funded initiative supported by the British Neuropathological Society catalogs the diagnostic tissue holdings of U.K. neuropathology centres and makes these archives available to the research community for high-quality neurological research.
BrainNet Europe is a "Network of Excellence" funded by the European Commission in the 6th Framework Program "Life Science" (LSHM-CT-2004-503039). It comprises 19 established brain banks across Europe and is coordinated by the Centre for Neuropathology and Prion Research Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany.
The center has a living cohort of over 3,000 participants (70 percent currently controls) who undergo periodic standardized assessments of cognition, behavior, mood, and ADLS. More than 350 people have died and their research-level neuropathological information is available to accompany the clinical information. Data and tissue are available to researchers around the world.
Donations are accepted from anyone over the age of 18, anyone with Alzheimer's disease or a family history of Alzheimer's, and anyone with any brain disease. Normal healthy brains are also needed. Donors are not charged, but $200 donations are appreciated.
For nearly three decades, the Duke Kathleen Price Bryan Brain Bank and Biorepository has been recognized as a premier biorepository for Alzheimer’s disease science. The Brain Bank provides Duke researchers and academic and industry collaborators worldwide with access to longitudinal clinical information, quality biospecimens, and services to support and advance basic and clinical research. The Bryan Brain Bank and Biorepository is part of the Duke/UNC Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), a collaborative effort working to identify the biological factors involved in normal brain aging and disease with the help of a diverse group of young and older people with and without memory impairments. Read more about the Duke/UNC ADRC here: https://dukeuncadrc.org/.
The center accepts donations from residents of the Greater San Diego area. Some antemortem information is strongly preferred. Participants must be at least 18. The center focuses on HIV, but other neurologic conditions are not exclusionary. It collects whole brain and spinal cord, as well as limited systemic tissues. Samples are fixed, frozen, and paraffin-embedded. Samples include antemortem plasma, CSF, and PBMCs, as well as postmortem serum and non-fasting CSF. Requests can be submitted through the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium. Disbursements may be limited based on feasibility and qualifications. More information NNTC website.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC, United States
The MUSC Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Neuropathology Laboratory (“Brain Bank”) is a statewide resource for scientists involved in aging research. The Brain Bank has two components: (1) a web-based and paper-based registry that allows individuals interested in becoming donors to sign up and (2) a centralized collection center for brain tissue and related structures (including temporal bones) obtained after death for the purpose of research and to improve diagnosis. The Brain Bank accepts donations from residents of South Carolina of all ages. Donor diagnoses include Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson's disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, early onset or age-related hearing loss, and other sensory disorders. Donations also are accepted from individuals with or without family histories of neurodegenerative disease and no recognizable symptoms of neurogenic disorders.
Tissue samples are taken from brain, brainstem, cervical spinal cord and blood vessels including the carotid arteries. Fluids collected include CSF, aqueous/vitreous humors of the eye and blood. The Brain Bank also obtains temporal bones in collaboration with the MUSC Hearing Research Program to advance understanding of the mechanisms and effects of hearing loss and to improve diagnosis.
Samples of banked tissue, biomaterials and biospecimens are available to share with qualified researchers, as are tissue sections stained with various histochemical techniques.
The brain bank accepts donations from participants in its longitudinal or clinical studies. Phenotypes collected are Alzheimer’s disease, family history of Alzheimer’s, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple system atrophy. Whole brain tissues are available and fixed, frozen, block, or stained, and are open to researchers after consultation with the director of the brain bank.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA, United States
The center accepts brain/spinal cord and biofluid/DNA donations from participants followed in NIA- and NINDS-funded studies, within the parameters described in Toledo et al., 2013. Phenotypes include Alzheimer's disease, family history of Alzheimer's, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, and Parkinson's disease. Tissue sites are whole brain, hemisphere, spinal cord, fasted CSF; samples are fixed, frozen, block, or stained.
The center accepts donations from residents of a specified geographical area who have longitudinal and/or clinical medical records. Phenotypes are collected for Alzheimer's disease, family history of Alzheimer's, cognitively normal, healthy normal, and brain damage. Whole brain, hemisphere, some spinal cord, and postmortem CSF tissues are fixed, frozen, block, or stained, and are available to researchers with permission from the government of China.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL, United States
The center accepts brain donations from Alzheimer's patients and cognitively normal controls who were seen at the center before death (family members can call the office to discuss feasibility of other donations). Samples available to researchers include brain tissue as paraformaldehyde-fixed wet tissue, paraffin blocks thereof, frozen unfixed, and unstained sections from selected regions; plasma from blood samples obtained from living subjects and controls; DNA extracted from leukocytes of blood samples from living individuals; and some postmortem CSF.
Donations are accepted from residents of southeastern Wisconsin who have been seen at the center and involved in longitudinal and/or clinical studies. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, and tauopathy. Whole-brain tissues are fixed or frozen, and available to researchers only by invitation from the primary investigator.
The brain bank accepts donations from residents of Quebec Province with longitudinal or clinical records. Phenotypes collected for most neurodegenerative diseases, healthy brain, mental disorders, and suicide victims. Whole brain, hemisphere, and some spinal cord tissues are available to researchers fixed, frozen, and sometimes block. Projects must be approved by the Research Ethics Board or Institutional Review Board.
University of Edinburgh, Centre for Molecular Medicine
Scotland, United Kingdom
Funded by the MRC, this consortium includes the University of Edinburgh (lead research organization) and its collaborators University College London and Alzheimer Scotland. It links to the Sudden Death Brain and Tissue Bank, HIV Brain and Tissue Bank, and CJD Brain and Tissue Bank, all funded by the Medical Research Council.
The center currently accepts only fresh brain donations from the general population, and does not bank Alzheimer's brains or brains with unspecified dementia. Normal controls are welcome, as are brains affected with Lewy Body, frontotemporal dementia, Pick’s disease, corticobasal degeneration, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson's, ALS, Huntington’s, MS, progressive supranuclear palsy, seizure disorder, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and chronoic traumatic encephalopathy, as well as some neurodevelopmental disorders such as Aspberger's, Batten’s disease, and Down’s syndrome. Click herefor the full list. Tissues are taken from whole brains and are available to researchers fresh, fixed, or frozen.
The center collects, stores, and distributes pre- and postmortem tissues including brain, spinal cord, CSF, serum, blood cells, and urine. The center maintains inventories of its tissue and fluid samples and makes them available for scientists without a clinical site. The center has no donor age limit, but does not accept brain tissue from people with tuberculosis, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or people who were on a respirator before death.
Microdissection of more than 130 different brain nuclei is performed on frozen brains. These samples are approved for neurochemistry, neuroendocrine, molecular biology, proteomic and genomic studies. Short postmortem delay: most brains are removed from the skull and frozen two to six hours after death.
The center collects brain and other CNS tissues (mostly spinal cord) from normal and diseased donors. Tissues are available fresh and frozen. There are no restrictions on donation, though autopsy is available on a fee basis to people outside of research. The center shares samples with scientists.
The center collects, processes, stores, and distributes samples, including longitudinal samples, from its research participants. Collections are taken from donors in their 40s to late 90s in a limited geographic area. Nigel Cairns leads the neuropathology core for DIAN samples; the fluid biomarker core leader Ann Fagan, (314) 362-3453, firstname.lastname@example.org, handles CNS tissue samples. The center receives fasted cerebrospinal fluid and matched plasma samples; genetics core Alison Goate collects DNA from blood and non-fasted plasma. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer's disease, family history of Alzheimer's, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, and Parkinson's disease. Samples taken include whole brain, hemisphere, and spinal cord, and fasted CSF. Fixed, frozen, block, and stained tissues are available to researchers after review by an external committee.
The center accepts donations. Phenotypes include Alzheimer's disease, family history of Alzheimer's, cognitively normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson's, vascular dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's, and multiple system atrophy. Tissues collected include hemisphere and occasional spinal cord, and are availabe to researchers fixed or frozen.
The brain bank accepts donations from people with brain tumors, from both the general population and brain studies participants. Tissues are taken from primary and secondary tumors in the CNS; from patients with neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis; surgical specimens (discarded tissues); and autopsy specimens. Tissues can be fixed, frozen, block, or stained, and are available for any researchers after review by committee, though preference is given to in-house researchers.
This brain bank accepts brain donations from inside and outside of Mayo Clinic, and provides tissue samples to a wide range of investigators. It banks and shares AD and controls, and also accepts, diagnoses, banks and shares samples from LBD, MSA, PD, PSP, CBD, FTD, ALS, and other conditions.
The center accepts donations from participants in longitudinal or clinical studies. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer's disease, family history of Alzheimer's, cognitively normal, cognitively healthy, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinsons', and any other neurodegenerative/neurological or psychiatric disease. Tissue collected postmortem: whole brain, hemisphere, spinal cord. Samples are available to researchers fixed or frozen.
The clinic collects brain and spinal cord tissue from people with multiple sclerosis who have participated in longitudinal and/or clinical studies, and shares them with other scientists subject to ethics approval. Tissues include whole brain and spinal cord, and are available fixed, frozen, block, or stained.
Centre for Brain Sciences, Imperial College London
London, United Kingdom
Accepts donations from U.K. residents with MS or other conditions, and healthy volunteers who register with the bank. Donors must have longitudinal and/or clinical/medical records. Phenotypes collected include multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors. The bank collects tissues and fluid from the entire brain and spinal cord, a sample of postmortem CSF, a small sample of muscle from the back, and a limited number of muscle, pituitary and pineal glands, and gut samples. Tissues can be fixed, frozen, block, stained, free for cell culture, DNA, RNA. All requests must be approved by an independent panel of experts and lay people. Priority is given to MS and PD studies.
The center unites the collections of the neuropathology cores at 27 NIA-funded AD Research Centers into a single database. It contains records on 13,000 brains, 3,000 of them with extensive clinical and cognitive data.
Donations are accepted from Netherlands residents who have provided a full medical file. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer’s disease, family history of Alzheimer’s, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s, narcolepsia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Tissues are collected from whole brain and hemispheres, and some spinal cord. Postmortem CSF is available.
The brain bank houses one of the most extensive collections of human brain tissue in the southern hemisphere, comprising nine different neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy and schizophrenia. The bank also contains more than 70 normal brains.
The NeuroBioBank links six U.S. repositories through a common web portal; its member banks store tissue largely from neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases other than Alzheimer’s. All tissue is collected using the same standardized protocol.
The network's pre-mortem donor program, “Using our Brains," accepts donors 18 and older within a specified geographical area. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer’s disease, family history of Alzheimer’s, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson’s, substance and alcohol abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar, and depression. Tissues collected: whole brain and spinal cord. Samples are available fixed, frozen, block, and stained for neuropathology report and research purposes. Samples are available at a cost to researchers with ethical approval for their projects, and applications are reviewed by a scientific committee.
The NSW Brain Tissue Resource Centre (BTRC) provides well-charecterised, high-quality tissue to the neuroscientific research community who have contributed to understanding the framework, composition and functioning of the human brain and the nature of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
The BTRC provides tissue both nationally and internationally. Some of the major research areas supported by the collections include alcohol use disorder, neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, and other neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease and ALS.
The center accepts donations from participants in its own longitudinal and clinical studies. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer's disease, family history of Alzheimer's, cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, Parkinson's, vascular dementia, and mixed dementia cases. Tissue is collected from brain hemispheres, and is available frozen. Non-fasted CSF and some postmortem CSF, serum, and plasma are also available. Samples are available to researchers with a research protocol approved by the center's committee.
Tissues are collected and diagnoses are established using procedures shared between the Neuropathology Cores of the Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Centers. Flash-frozen tissues are obtained from nearly all donors, with extensive sampling in select instances. In most cases, 22 sections are taken following formalin fixation from all lobes of the left and right hemispheres, the white matter, deep gray structures, brainstem, cerebellum, and spinal cord. Sections are stained with hematoxylin and eosin/Luxol fast blue, Bielschowski silver staining, Congo Red, and for hyperphosphorylated tau and α-synuclein by immunohistochemistry.
Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer’s disease, family history of Alzheimer’s cognitively normal, healthy normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, and Parkinson’s. Fixed, frozen, block, and stained samples are available, and special tissue preparations can be collected. Postmortem ventricular fluid is collected.
Any investigator may request tissue. A materials transfer agreement between Oregon Health and Science University must be executed before tissues can be shipped. If corresponding clinical data is necessary, a data use agreement with the ADC must be executed as well.
Institute of Neurology - University College London
London, United Kingdom
The center holds a unique archive of brains donated by individuals with neurodegenerative disease and neurologically normal controls. It specializes in parkinsonian movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy and holds the national collection of brains donated by individuals with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Recently the collection has been developed to include donated brains from prospectively studied people with familial dementias. Brain tissue is stored as formalin-fixed, wax embedded blocks and is frozen, either at –20 °C or at –80 °C (flash-frozen). Tissue can be provided to researchers as slide-mounted sections, or as small blocks for neurochemistry, proteomics and DNA and RNA analysis.
The center does not accept donations. Collection is limited to participants in longitudinal research projects conducted by the center. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer's disease, cognitively normal, healthy normal, demential with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, tauopathy, and Parkinson's. Tissues are collected from whole brain, hemispheres, and spinal cord, and CSF is collected postmortem. Samples are available fixed, frozen, block, and stained. Longitudinal clinical, imaging, cognitive testing and other data are available with tissue samples.
University of Sheffield, Department of Neuroscience
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
SBTB consists of two cohorts of central nervous system tissue from autopsy donations: a local donor cohort of brain and spinal cord tissues from patients with motor neurone disease, Parkinson's disease,and dementias; and the MRC's Cognitive Function & Ageing Study (CFAS) brain donor cohort, which has more than 540 donations. Tissues are available to researchers after ethical approval.
This brain bank rarely accepts de-novo donations, instead drawing on its Alzheimer's research center, which follows patients longitudinally. Tissues available are in formalin, paraffin, tissue blocks, or frozen fresh, and open to any researcher.
The center has five cohorts available for study: the Neuropathology Consortium, Array Collection, New Collection, Depression Collection, and the Parietal Collection. Researchers agree to study all samples requested. The specimens were collected by participating medical examiners between January 1995 and June 2002, and processed and stored in a standardized way.
The brain bank receives brain and spinal cord donations from individuals enrolled during life in one of its nine affiliated brain donor programs. Donors must live in New South Wales and be older than 18 years. The bank collects tissue from donors with sporadic and familial forms of a number of disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s, frontotemporal dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal syndrome, Huntington’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as from individuals with mild cognitive impairment and healthy donors. Donors with lookalike or related disorders may also be eligible.
For the majority of cases, one hemisphere is fixed in formalin for cellular and histological analysis and the other is frozen. The bank also takes standardized blocks from every case for tissue characterisation and classification. Tissues can be accessed by accredited researchers for ethically approved research studies. All applications are reviewed by the independent scientific review committee of the NSWBB and assessed on feasibility and scientific merit.
The center accepts tissue donations from participants in longitudinal and/or clinical medial studies run by its doctors, as well as some other donors. Phenotypes collected include Alzheimer’s disease, family history of Alzheimer’s, cognitively normal, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementias including tauopathy, Parkinson’s, ALS, vascular dementia, and mixed dementia. Whole-brain, hemisphere, and a subset of spinal-cord tissues are fixed, frozen, or blocked and available to researchers after a review process.
The network provides high-quality brain tissue to scientists and clinicians and supports major initiatives on research into neurological disorders, including the aims of the Ministerial Action Group on Dementia Research. The Medical Research Council established this network, which is also supported by the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research U.K. It comprises 10 brain banks throughout the U.K., and maintains two head offices, one in Swindon and the other at One Kemble St., London WC2B 4AN.
These 10 banks together contain samples from more than 10,000 brains in one centralized, searchable database. Network members have adopted standardized protocols for tissue processing. The network has made the collection of brains from healthy controls a priority. The organization runs a longitudinal study on 3,000 volunteers, more than half of whom are controls. The brain bank accepts tissue requests from researchers worldwide.
The University of Florida Human Brain and Tissue Bank (UF HBTB) is a repository of human tissue that strives to advance research in the field of neurodegeneration. The UF HBTB is supported by the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), the McKnight Brain institute, and the Center for Translational Research for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Florida. It is a resource for patients, caregivers, and researchers to better understand neurological diseases. The brain bank accepts donors, who are 18 years and older, anywhere in the United States. Examining the brain after death is the only way to verify a clinical diagnosis of a neurodegenerative or memory disorder. Not only does the brain bank accept those with neurodegenerative or memory disorder diagnoses, but it also accepts healthy donors, meaning they do not have a diagnosis for neurodegeneration. Brain tissue provides valuable information to the scientists who work to understand these neurological diseases. Brain bank scientists hope that many people who understand the importance of research are able to help future research efforts by agreeing to donate their brain after they die. The generous gift of brain donation helps researchers to understand the disease changes and determine effectiveness of therapies on the disease process. This allows people to contribute for many years after their death. All tissues in the brain bank are available to credentialed researchers. Please contact the brain bank if you would like to enroll as a donor, to find out more information, or to make a tissue request.
The brain and tissue bank is part of the NIH NeuroBioBank. It and collects, stores, and distributes brain and other tissues. Tissues are either fixed or frozen. The NIH NeuroBioBank handles all requests for samples.
The center links clinical and pathological data on each case. It encourages donations from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients, as well as healthy older people, and maintains a registry of more than 800 live donors. All brain tissue is procured, stored, and distributed according to applicable regulations and guidelines involving consent, protection of human subjects and donor anonymity. Brain tissue specimens are provided to researchers in academia and industry. Researchers may apply online; review usually requires three to six weeks.