Brain Tissue Repository for Researchers

Tissues accumulated in the Oregon Brain Bank are made available to researchers according to established protocols.

The mission of the Neuropathology Core is to 1) establish the diagnosis of brain disease through a complete evaluation of autopsy tissue, and 2) to make tissue not required for diagnosis available for researchers who study the causes and processes of brain diseases.

OHSU studies have been directed to patients demonstrating healthy aging and to tissue alterations that depart from this and are associated with symptomatic brain disease.

Tissue Requests

Requests for tissue from the Oregon Brain Bank should be directed to Randall Woltjer, M.D., Ph.D. He will be glad to communicate with investigators regarding their tissue needs and to assist them in identifying suitable materials for their studies. Material Transfer Agreements between the requesting and sending institutions are needed before shipment.

Randall L. Woltjer, M.D., Ph.D.
Oregon Brain Bank
OHSU Department of Pathology
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road
Mail Code L113 
Portland, OR 97239


These are human tissues and as such must be considered potentially infectious. Establishment of a diagnosis does not exclude the possibility of concomitant additional processes. 


Flash-frozen tissues for potential biochemical and molecular biologic studies are obtained from nearly all cases, 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 (as available). The sections are routinely stained with hematoxylin and eosin/Luxol fast blue, Bielschowski silver staining, Congo Red and for hyperphosphorylated tau and a-synuclein by immunohistochemistry.

This degree of sampling allows classification based on the NIA-Reagan Institute criteria for AD pathologic changes (Working Group on Molecular and Biochemical Markers of Alzheimer's Disease, 1998), Dementia with Lewy Bodies consensus criteria (Consensus guidelines for the clinical and pathologic diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB Consortium on DLB International Workshop, 1996), Frontotemporal Dementia consensus criteria (Work Group on Frontotemporal Dementia and Pick's Disease, 2000), Braak staging of Lewy bodies (Braak, H. et al., 2003), and the Honolulu Asian-American Study criteria for microvascular lesions (White, L, et al., 2002).

  • Right mid frontal gyru
  • Left mid frontal gyrus
  • Frontal lobe white matter (1cm anterior to lat vent)
  • Right inferior parietal lobule
  • Left inferior parietal lobule
  • Right superior and middle temporal gyrus
  • Left superior and middle temporal gyrus
  • Anterior cingulate gyrus
  • Right primary visual cortex
  • Left primary visual cortex
  • Hippocampus at level of uncus
  • Hippocampus at the level of the lateral geniculate
  • Amygdala right
  • Striatum at the level of the anterior commissure
  • Left striatum at the level of the anterior commissure
  • Right thalamus
  • Left thalamus
  • Midbrain with substantia nigra
  • Pons
  • Medulla
  • Cerebellar cortex
  • Spinal cord/pituitary (as available)

  • Midfrontal gyrus
  • Inferior parietal lobule
  • Posterior superior temporal gyrus
  • Primary visual cortex
  • Hippocampus (rostral to caudal)
  • Amygdala
  • Putamen (1 precommissural, 1 at anterior commissure, 1 postcommissural)
  • Globus pallidus (1 precommissural, 1 at anterior commissure, 1 postcommissural)
  • Caudate (1 precommissural, 1 at anterior commissure, 1 postcommissural)
  • Midbrain (rostral to caudal)
  • Pons (rostral to caudal with first including the locus ceruleus)
  • Medulla (rostral to caudal)
  • Cerebellar cortex