Donate your brain to Alzheimer's research
PEOPLE are being encouraged to make a pledge to leave their grey matter to a Bristol brain bank after they die.
The South West Dementia Brain Bank in the city is hoping to recruit 150 donors by next month to improve research into Alzheimer's and related disorders.
The Frenchay-based brain bank is currently recruiting donors for a £2 million project called Brains for Dementia Research to collect brain tissue to help scientists better understand and ultimately find a cure for dementia.
Chester Guttridge, 87, from Nailsea signed up to the South West Dementia Brain Bank four years ago and is now a member of the project as a donor who does not have dementia. His wife Leila, who has Alzheimer's, will also be donating her brain.
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He said: "I am a huge supporter of research into Alzheimer's and other dementias after seeing first hand the effect it has on people and families.
"Deciding to be a brain donor can be an emotional decision, but if my brain can contribute even a small amount to improving our understanding of dementia then it will have been hugely worthwhile. 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 in the brain.
Every year or so, 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.
Seth Love, director of the brain bank and professor of neuropathology at Bristol University, said: "The project has been very successful so far and we are really grateful to 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 contact Lynn Doran or Laura Palmer on 0117 3403070 or email@example.com.