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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
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' – rocking 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 ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.