Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource (NBTR) was established over 30 years ago and has supported major advances in the understanding of dementia and neurodegenerative disease and identifying therapeutic targets. Projects using tissue supplied by NBTR were the basis for development of the current drug therapy for dementia and also for the identification of Lewy Body disease, the second most frequent cause of dementia in the UK. We work in co-operation with other brain banks in the UK and as part of the Brains for Dementia Research network funded by the Alzheimer’s Society and the Alzheimer Research UK. NBTR is based within Newcastle University and receives support from the Medical Research Council and the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre and Unit.
Potential donors are recruited both from those already taking part in clinical research studies and from volunteers who come forward after seeing our posters or leaflets. Donors may have a diagnosis of dementia or neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s Disease but normal donors are also welcomed. Their consent is sought in life to donate brain tissue for research purposes after their death. Once they have signed up to our register, they are assessed annually by our specialist nurse team to identify any changes. On the potential donors death the nurse team make all the necessary arrangements for the donation to take place as quickly and with as little trouble for the family as possible. The tissue is then processed to allow a variety of research uses in the future and after the diagnostic process is complete it is stored in a purpose built facility which has all the necessary safeguards to ensure the safety of this precious resource. There is an application process for researchers to request samples. These are then supplied where the committee, which is made up of both scientific and lay members, is satisfied that the project is scientifically and ethically sound.
If you are interested in finding out more about the donation process please click on the following link becoming a donor.