Oregon Brain Bank

Human tissue repository for brain research studies

The Oregon Brain Bank was established in 1990 with the assistance of the Alzheimer's Research Alliance of Oregon.

The bank serves two main functions; first to provide a neuropathologic diagnosis of organic dementia's in a cohort of NIH sponsored research subjects and second to harvest, bank and disperse postmortem tissue for use in brain research.

Although the primary focus is on Alzheimer's, tissue from patients with Huntington's, Parkinson's, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Controls and other disorders are also available.

What is a brain autopsy?

It is the examination of the brain tissue after death. The brain is preserved and small samples are examined under a microscope by a neuropathologist to determine the disease process. It remains the only reliable means of confirming the specific diagnosis of an illness. Brain autopsies provide a valuable resource for research into the cause of the devastating illnesses that strike the brain, as well as a source of normal brain tissue from "control" cases who did not have brain diseases.

Why is it important?

There are two main reasons: To determine the precise cause of a patient’s disease, and to advance medical research. Autopsy tissue is vital to studies aimed at determining the cause, prevention and cure of brain diseases.

What is the cost?

Patients enrolled in special research protocols receive this service at no cost.