Donating Brain to Medical Research
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Q:  Donating Brain to Medical Research


Hi Dr. Phelps,

I would like to donate my brain for the medical research of the bipolar disorder when I become deceased.  My clinical diagnose is:

DSM-IV-TR CODE: 296.63
Bipolar 1 Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed - Severe Without Psychotic Features

 o you know of the best place to donate my brain to?  I would like the research to be as beneficial as possible in the cure/treatment of the bipolar disorder.

Thank you,
Elaina


Dear Elaina -- 
Now we must begin by wondering just when you think this donation might take place. If you were thinking about getting the donation set up and then bringing your life to an end shortly thereafter, generally referred to by the frightening word "suicide", then this answer ought to be addressing that issue and not where to donate. If that's the case, make sure someone you trust knows what you're thinking and look into getting some help for that (by going to your local emergency room or calling 911 if necessary to get help right away before taking some sort of action). Here's
one of my favorite reading references for people who think about suicide. 

But, hoping that's not the point of your question, that instead you're talking about wanting to help others by helping brain science move forward toward a better understanding of what could cause the kind of experience you went through to get this diagnostic label... all right then, what you're looking for is something like the Stanley Foundation Brain Bank. I'm sorry I can't send you directly to just the right place, but with a little searching, this ought to help. If all else fails, try writing them directly at info@stanleyresearch.org, as you'll see you are invited to do at the bottom of their page about their "brain collection".  Start by learning more about their program. This is part of the Stanley Medical Research Institute; here's their "about us" page. And here's an article about how their brain collection has been used. 

Dr. Phelps
 


Published September, 2006
 

 

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