Making the Decision

Brain autopsy is a decision that individuals and their families can make only after thoughtful consideration. The decision has important emotional and practical implications. Members of the professional staff at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern are available to talk with you and answer your questions.

The bereavement period is not the optimal time to begin thinking about an autopsy. The time to start thinking about brain autopsy is now, even though death may be years away. Early discussion reduces the stress of such decisions at the time of death. Your decision may be influenced by a variety of factors.

Please consider that we are not able to accept every donation.

If the patient was never seen as part of research or for a clinical evaluation at Northwestern University's Alzheimer's Disease Center, it may be necessary for us to review the patient’s medical records to determine whether or not the donation would be appropriate for our research. Please call our office at 312-926-1851 between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, to discuss the feasibility of a brain donation.