December 2020

Print this issue

Health Capsule

Donate Your Brain for Research

Your brain lets you think, feel, move, and breathe. But when something goes wrong, it can cause devastating disorders. Brain donations help researchers study brain disorders that affect millions of people.

Scientists need donations from both people who had a brain disorder and those who were healthy. These donations help researchers learn about brain injuries and diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. A better understanding of brain disorders may bring new treatments in the future.

Anyone over 18 can choose to donate their brain. Scientists need brains from diverse groups. It’s important to study brain diseases in many populations.

One donated brain can make a huge impact. It could provide information for hundreds of studies.

If you’re considering brain donation, note that being an organ donor on your driver’s license is different. Brain donation is a separate process.

First, talk with your family and friends. Let them know early in your decision-making process. This may reduce stress and misunderstandings at the time of donation.

You might also consider enrolling in a clinical study. Researchers learn the most from the brains of people who participate in studies while they’re still alive. This lets them track changes in memory, thinking, language, and behavior over time.

Learn more about why and how to donate your brain.