Scottish Dementia Brain Tissue Bank to be relaunched

The Scottish Dementia Brain Tissue Bank (BTB) is being relaunched today. The BTB is a collaboration between the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh (ASDRC) and the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NDN).

Dementia affects over 50 million people worldwide and around a million people in the UK. The familiar symptoms of memory difficulties and the need for increasing levels of support are linked with changes in the brain caused by various illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

However, precisely how the brain changes result in the symptoms in the person remains unclear. Dr Tom Russ, Director of the ASDRC comments “In order to shed more light on how brain changes relate to the symptoms of dementia, we need two things: samples of brain tissue and information about how this person was when they were alive. So we need people to come forward soon after diagnosis to sign up for brain tissue donation.”

The BTB is able to accept donations of brain tissue from people with a diagnosis of dementia who live on mainland Scotland. Dr Emma Law, Network Manager of the NDN commented, “We are keen to help support as many people living with dementia as possible to engage in research of all kinds. A really important way to do this is to sign up to donate brain tissue. The Neuroprogressive and Dementia Network is active across Scotland helping people sign up for brain tissue donation as well as recruiting people to clinical trials of new treatments for dementia.”

Dr Russ adds “We are hugely grateful to all the people diagnosed with dementia and their families who have supported the Scottish Dementia Brain Tissue Bank over the last decade and would like to encourage anyone interested in finding out more about donation to get in touch.”

More information about brain tissue donation can be obtained from the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre via their website or by email.