What is the Sydney Brain Bank?
The Sydney Brain Bank was established in 2009 and is located at NeuRA, one of Australia’s leading institutes in brain research.
Funded by NeuRA, the Sydney Brain Bank currently holds more than 700 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 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 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.
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 supported by NeuRA through philanthropic donations made to the NeuRA Foundation, and successfully awarded philanthropic and competitive grant funds.
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
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 […]