In a bid to reach a first year target of 150 donors by June, researchers at Bristol university are appealing for more people to consider brain donation. The South West Dementia Brain Bank at the University of Bristol is currently recruiting brain donors to a UK-wide project called Brains for Dementia Research (BDR). This £2m initiative, joint funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, is collecting vital brain tissue in a bid to help scientists defeat dementia.
Bristol is the newest centre to join the BDR network and recruits donors from across the South West. After recruiting their first donor last June, the staff set an ambitious target of signing up 150 donors before the first anniversary of their involvement in the initiative. With the current register approaching 100, they are now asking people to help them beat their target by finding out more about brain donation and to consider making the generous pledge.
Chester Guttridge, 87, from Nailsea signed up to the South West Dementia Brain Bank four years ago and is now a member of the BDR project as a donor who doesn’t have dementia. His wife Leila, who has Alzheimer’s, will also be donating her brain.He said:
“Brain tissue is vital for progress to be made in understanding the devastating diseases that cause dementia and I am happy to be doing my bit to help.”
Brains for Dementia Research recruits people who have dementia as well as people over the age of 65 who do not have dementia. Brains from people without dementia are essential for researchers to help understand how dementia differs from normal ageing. Every one or two years, each donor takes part in some simple memory and thinking tasks so that the research team can build a better picture of how their brains are working.
Prof Seth Love, Director of the Brain Bank and Professor of Neuropathology at the University of Bristol, spoke of the importance of the project. He said:
“The project has been very successful so far and we are really grateful for those people who are already involved. Human brain tissue is an absolute gold standard for scientists trying to unravel the causes of dementia and develop effective new treatments.
“People who sign up to donate their brains after death are leaving a hugely generous legacy to help others in the future, but we do understand that brain donation is a decision that needs careful thought. We would urge anyone who is interested to contact us and find out more.”
For more information about the Brains for Dementia Research project at the South West Dementia Brain Bank, please contact Lynn Doran or Laura Palmer on 0117 3403070 or email@example.com.