What is the Sydney Brain Bank?
The Sydney Brain Bank at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) was established in 2009 and is one of Australia’s leading institutes in brain research.
Jointly funded by NeuRA and UNSW, the Sydney Brain Bank currently holds more than 650 brains.
Researchers conduct studies on these brains to gain a greater understanding of neurodegenerative conditions, which helps create better treatments.
The Sydney Brain Bank currently works with 10 brain donor programs. These focus on conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and neurologically unaffected individuals.
On November 27, the National Rugby League (NRL) announced its support of the most recent donor program to the Sydney Brain Bank. This research at NeuRA is looking into the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and impact of sports-related brain injuries.
How does the brain bank work?
Brain donors to the Sydney Brain Bank have detailed health assessments before their death in order to examine how neurodegenerative changes may or may not be impacting on their quality of life.
After death, a donor’s brain is divided into two halves, one side is frozen and the other is preserved in formalin. This enables researchers to examine both cellular biochemical changes as well as any irregularities within the structure of the brain.
Why is this research so important?
Brain tissue from the Sydney Brain Bank is not only used by researchers at NeuRA, but is used by many researchers across Australia and throughout the world. It is a vital resource for global research, with Sydney Brain Bank tissue facilitating over 300 studies since 2009.
Global research into neurodegenerative diseases is impossible without the support of brain banks. Only through post-mortem research can we identify the cellular changes occurring in the brains of those with neurological disorders. Improved knowledge about diseases such as dementia or CTE could lead a better understanding of how they could be prevented.
How is the Sydney Brain Bank funded?
The Sydney Brain Bank is cooperatively managed and supported by NeuRA and the University of New South Wales.
It also receives support from philanthropic donations made to the NeuRA Foundation.
How can you join a donor program?
Want to learn more about the Sydney Brain Bank and brain donation? Then please head to our Frequently Asked Questions page
SYDNEY BRAIN BANK TEAM
CARLA SCICLUNA Research Assistant
: 9399 1826
On August 11 2019, 54 people took on the City2Surf for Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). The event is the world’s largest fun run with 80,000 participants taking on the 14km course, which stretches from Hyde Park in central Sydney to the iconic Bondi Beach. NeuRA thanks all of its fundraisers, who raised an incredible $30,903. This funding will further NeuRA’s […]