Learn How to Become a Brain Donor

Any person over the age of 18 can register as a potential brain donor. Parent or legal guardian may register a person under the age of 18 as a potential brain donor. Before making a decision to register as a potential donor, it is highly recommended that you discuss this decision with your family to ensure that they are aware of your wishes; a consent form must be signed by the next of kin at the time of death. While it is important to obtain brain tissue from individuals with neurological disorders, it is equally important to get brain tissue from healthy, non-affected individuals. These subjects are termed "controls." The brain tissue from controls enables researchers to make informative comparisons to brain tissue from patients with neurological disorders.

Proper planning is important in making brain bank donations. Making decisions and arrangements in advance not only eases the emotional stress at the time of death, but also ensures that your donation will have the greatest value to science and to patients in the future.

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The NIH NeuroBioBank has partnered with The Brain Donor Project to help potential donors register for brain donation. The Brain Donor Project is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to increase the supply of human post-mortem brains donated for scientific research.

Learn more about the Brain Donor Project

The legacy of donation offers future generations the possibility of improved health.