The NSW Brain Banks focus on collecting the brain and spinal cord from donors with ageing and neurodegenerative conditions (SBB collection) as well as donors with alcohol related brain damage, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder (NSW BTRC collection) and healthy people without any disorders affecting the brain or spinal cord (collected by both SBB and NSW BTRC)
Brain tissue is usually collected within 48 hours of death. Details of age at death, gender, disease duration and postmortem interval accompanies all samples.
Where possible, one hemisphere of the brain is frozen to enable subsequent proteomic and genomic analysis while the other half is fixed in formalin for 2 weeks for tissue characterisation and subsequent histological studies. In cases with vascular or other asymmetric pathology both hemispheres are fixed to enable thorough characterisation to be carried out.
Cases are grouped into cohorts to facilitate research studies and collaboration. Approximate numbers of cases available for research are outlined below. Please note that the entire cohort may not be available for your specific research purposes. Factors that affect the number of available cases include:
Please consider these factors when completing the request enquiry form. You will need to detail the specific tissue requirements (i.e. regions(s) and amount), justify the number of cases requested and provide a brief project outline. The NSW Brain Banks will assess your request and confirm whether the tissue requested is available and provide an estimate of the cost of acquiring such tissue. Please note that the maximum numbers available for distribution are given below, but that full justification of the numbers required for your specific research question needs to be made with a credible power analysis. For large effect sizes in particular, fewer cases are needed, with replication of results better in cohorts collected from different brain banks to incorporate clinical, genetic, lifestyle and pathological protocol variabilities.
For information about how the tissue is characterised, please contact the appropriate brain bank. For neurodegenerative disorder cases and aged controls, please visit the Sydney Brain Bank. For alcohol-related, psychiatric disorders and age-matched controls, please visit the NSW Brain TRC.