Brain banking in the United States.
Many of us who conduct research based on disorders that uniquely affect the human nervous system are involved directly or indirectly with brain banks. Brain banking is by its very nature a multi-disciplinary endeavor that requires close collaboration with our colleagues in clinical departments and also with the families and patients who are donors of brain tissue. These brain tissues will ultimately be used for many types of basic science investigations. Thus, many brain banks are as unique as the basic research programs that they serve. However, there are some commonalities in the field of brain banking. This paper represents a broad overview of brain banking and the issues that are common to all brain banks. Legal and ethical concerns regarding confidentiality of donor records and donor recruitment procedures, as well as safety precautions for technical staff, tissue banking methods and disbursement will be discussed. Finally, issues surrounding financial support for brain banks will be considered.
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