INFORMATION FOR INVESTIGATORS
The Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center is funded by the NIH, as well as several private organizations, to serve as a vital resource for the collection and distribution of postmortem brain tissues for medical research into the causes of devastating neurological and psychiatric disorders. All tissue diagnoses are confirmed by retrospective review of clinical records and a comprehensive neuropathological examination.
All disbursements from HBTRC are made at no cost to the recipient laboratory.
Tissue samples are available in the following preparations:
- Fresh quick-frozen tissue blocks or coronal sections (nitrogen vapor or dry ice frozen)
- Passive frozen hemispheres (custom dissection of specific anatomic regions)
- Formalin-fixed hemispheres (custom dissection of specific anatomic regions)
- Under some circumstances, paraffin-embedded sections may also be available
The NeuroBioBank, a NIH-funded repository of human brain tissue and associated clinical data, was established in September 2013 as a national, centralized resource so that investigators could obtain high-quality, postmortem human brain tissue and further the understanding of the neurological basis for mental disorders.
Investigators should submit requests for postmortem brain tissue through the NeuroBioBank.
Normal Controls (no brain disorders)
- In order to perform research brain disorders, it is vital to collect brains from individuals without brain disorders (controls), which the HBTRC gratefully accepts. Control brains allow us to expand our knowledge of the human brain and to understand what changes occur in people suffering from brain disorders.
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Corticobasal degeneration
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Huntington’s disease / HD relatives “at risk”
- Lewy body disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Multiple system atrophy (MSA)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pick’s disease
- Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
- Seizure disorder and epilepsy
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI or chronic traumatic encephalopathy)
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Batten’s disease
- Down’s syndrome
- Fragile X syndrome
- Intellectual disability
- Pediatric developmental disorders (PDD)
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Dystonia (Dystonia Medical Research - Foundation www.dystonia-foundation.org)
- Restless legs syndrome (Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation - www.rls.org/)
- Rett’s syndrome (International Rett Syndrome Association - www.rettsyndrome.org)
- Tourette syndrome / Tourette syndrome family members (Tourette Syndrome Association - tsa-usa.org)
- Cohen Brain Collection (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury - www.cohenveteransbioscience.org)