Feeds

UK scientists hit by lack of brains

Donors required to combat 'dire' research shortage

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

UK scientists have appealed for people to donate their brains to researchers facing a "dire" shortage of grey matter, the BBC reports.

According to Dr Payam Rezaie of the Open University's Neuropathology Research Laboratory, scientists urgently need "thousands more brains... to look for the cause and treatments for conditions like autism and Alzheimer's disease".

He explained: "For autism, we only have maybe 15 or 20 brains that have been donated that we can do our research on. That is drastically awful. We would need at least 100 cases to get meaningful data. But that is just one example. A lot of research is being hindered by this restriction."

Professor James Ironside of the donation regulatory body, the Human Tissue Authority, noted that "as well as a shortage of diseased brains to study, there was a bigger problem of getting hold of healthy donor brains for comparison". He added that this was because of "poor awareness rather than people being squeamish".

Dr Kieran Breen of the Parkinson's Disease Society elaborated: "It is a question of awareness rather than anything else. There is also confusion. Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't. Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science."

Accordingly, Breen suggested would-be donors "should contact one of the 15-20 brain banks dotted around the UK", such as the Brain Bank for Autism.

Other sites collecting brains for research include the Medical Research Council's Brain and Tissue Banks in Edinburgh, which focuses on "HIV infection of the brain and on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease", and the Parkinson's Disease Society Tissue Bank based at Imperial College London. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.