We have so much to learn about the complexities of the human brain. Although evidence from MRI and other non-invasive techniques can point to certain abnormalities within the brain, these tools cannot help us understand the cellular mechanisms that cause these abnormalities. Postmortem studies on human brain tissue represent the only viable option for researchers to gain a deeper understanding of various neurodevelopmental disorders on the genetic, cellular, and molecular level.
The availability of quality brain tissue, however, is extremely limited. For example, over the last three decades of autism research, fewer than 100 autism brains have been studied with an average sample size of 5 cases per published study.
Breaking the Barriers
The MIND Institute Brain Endowment for Autism Research Sciences (BEARS) Program was formed to provide scientists worldwide with the valuable gift of brain tissue and accelerate the development of effective treatments and prevention options for individuals living with neurodevelopmental disorders. (Learn more...)
To make a significant impact, scientists, national advocacy organizations, and the community need to work together to transform current thinking on brain donation for research. It is only through collaboration that we will succeed in our endeavors to help fuel groundbreaking research and ultimately discover novel approaches for today's treatments and tomorrow's cures.