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Brain Banking hits the news

Copyright, courtesy of the MRC

9 August 2016

The South West Dementia Brain Bank at the University of Bristol have recently been spreading the word on national and local news about what they do and the importance of brain donation.

The South West Dementia Brain Bank is part of the MRC-led UK Brain Banks Network.  Their mission is to support dementia research that has the potential to contribute to our understanding of the underlying diseases or to be of value to sufferers and their families.
On Monday 1st August 2016, a video and article highlighting their work was featured on BBC News as 'Banking Britain's brains: The story of a scientific resource'. The story features an interview with one of our donors family members.
A slightly different version was shown on the Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC 2 (starting at 1:35 min into the video). 
The South West Dementia Brain Bank team also took part in seven BBC local radio interviews: BBC Radio Scotland, West Midlands, Norfolk, Gloucestershire, Shopshire, Wales, and Kent.
Their work has also been written about by a donor's family member, who is also a donor herself.
Dr Laura Palmer, (Manager of the South West Brain Bank) and Dr Candida Tasman (Brain Bank Technician), also helped to create the following two photofilms about their work:

Dr Laura Palmer also completed a working life article about being a Brain Bank Manager for MRC insight recently. On the topic of the work at the Brain Bank, she said:

More and more so we’re finding that the most useful donations are from people for whom we have lots of clinical data. A brain is much more useful if we know a lot about the health and lifestyle of the person it belonged to. We’re involved with the Brains for Dementia Research project, which involves registering people for brain donation and following them up with regular home visits for memory assessments. This allows us to collect in-depth clinical information that we can provide to researchers along with tissue after the donors pass way. 

In my 11 years I’ve dealt with over 300 potential donors and their families. I have huge respect and admiration for people who decide to donate their brains. Every donation here is a person to us – it’s our job to make sure his or her brain can be used for research and that the tissue is treated with respect.

(Excerpts taken from her MRC working life article)

Further information

For more information on brain donation and how you can sign up, please see the information on the Medical Research Council's website:

For more information about the Dementia research Group at the Univeristy of Bristol, please see their webpage:

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