Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain Donation

Brain Donation Helps Fight Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders

WE ARE CURRENTLY ONLY ACCEPTING BRAIN DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS ENROLLED IN OUR RESEARCH. IF AN INDIVIDUAL IS NOT ENROLLED IN OUR RESEARCH, WE WILL NOT ACCEPT A BRAIN DONATION.

If you have any questions about becoming a research participant, or if you are a participant and want to plan for brain donation in advance, please contact our research line at 312-926-1851 and we will return your call within 24 hours during normal business hours. 

We are asking for your help in the struggle against Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative brain diseases that cause dementia. The Mesulam CNADC requests that participants enrolled in our longitudinal research program or are interested in participating agree to brain donation at the time of death. We accept brain donations from participants with dementia and healthy participants without dementia. Scientists can compare the brains of affected and healthy individuals. This helps us understand possible causes for these diseases and promotes identification of potential treatment and prevention strategies. Brain donation is one of the most important gifts a patient with dementia and his/her family can make.

Benefits of Brain Donation for Research Participants:

There are two major benefits of brain donation:

  1. Autopsy of the brain after death provides definite confirmation of a diagnosis of dementia. The post mortem examination of brain tissue under the microscope is currently the only definitive way of identifying the disease that caused the dementia
  2. After the definitive diagnosis is made, the brain tissue is categorized, stored and then distributed to multiple approved scientists so that they may study the causes of dementia and possible treatments. Major contributions to our understanding of these diseases have come from single case studies. Each and every donation is significant to the cause.

Why Make The Decision?

Brain Autopsy