Psychiatric and neurological disorders are common in the United States, resulting in significant loss in quality of life, interfering with family functioning, and the ability to work. The likelihood of being diagnosed with a neurological disorder continues to increase with age, and the lengthening U.S. lifespan means more people will likely suffer from these disorders. In addition, neurodevelopmental disorders in children take a huge toll on quality of life. The need for research to further understand these disorders continues to be a priority.
While substantial progress has been made in understanding the causes and treatment of these disorders, there are still many unanswered questions that need to be addressed. The limited supply of donated human tissues is a barrier to progress in understanding these diseases. By increasing the amount of brain tissue available for research, we will be able to support scientists' research to better understand how to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure disorders of the human brain. In a very real way, the hopes of people affected by brain diseases rest on the discoveries made possible by tissue donation.
"The legacy of donation offers the opportunity for future generations to enjoy all the benefits of full health."
The decision to donate can be difficult for individuals and their loved ones. Each donor may have a unique reason for deciding to become a donor, but most if not all donors share a common satisfaction knowing that they are contributing to the health and well-being of others affected by similar brain disorders. Watch the below videos to hear why some people decide to donate.