Feeds

UK scientists hit by lack of brains

Donors required to combat 'dire' research shortage

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.