Virtual Brain Bank Could Help Us Get the Most Out of Brain Donation

Brain removal logistics are often complex and costly for brain donor programs, relying on in-kind support from funeral directors, clinicians, and mortuary staff. After tissue harvesting, brains require specialist processing expertise and large storage areas, resulting in increased labor and space costs. The timing and finality of brain removal can also impact the collection of longitudinal clinical data, which may require medical records departmental input and/or facilitation by family members.

Dr. Amanda Rush, from the NSW Health Statewide Biobank, and Associate Professor Greg Sutherland, from the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney, propose a novel brain banking strategy that maximizes the potential of brain donation by extending the core physical bank to include existing repositories of clinical tissues and data, creating a virtual brain bank.

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