Scientists are appealing for more people to donate their brains for research, after they have died. This is due to the fact that they are lacking the brains of people with disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The shortage of brains results from a lack of awareness that such conditions are due to changes in brain wiring, hence why the scientists are in need of more brains for research and study.
More than 3000 brains are stored at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Centre, just outside Boston, making it one of the largest brain banks in the world. The researchers aim to develop new treatments for mental and neurological disorders such as depression, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer's Disease.
The human brain is a very complex organ, which dictates the way we control our body and ultimately the way we live. Its wirings change and grow as we do. In recent years, researchers have made links between the shape of the brain and mental/neurological disorders. Most if the specimen brains used in research are from people with mental or neurological disorders.
However there is a problem. Scientists do not have enough specimens for the research community. New treatments for mental and neurological diseases are within the grasp of the research community, however the lack of brain tissue if halting the development. Once you die, you can get family consent for organs to be donated for research or transplant. Generally, many people object this due to the body having to be cut open, disturbing the soul of the human. Whilst there is a lack of brains that are being donated, there are many athletes that are donating their brains for research. This will allow scientists to advance in research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTP) - a neurodegenerative disease that has been associated with head injuries. Frank Gifford and Ken Stabler were diagnosed with CTE after their deaths. Many neurodegenerative diseases have been troubling top scientists into finding a cure.
With the possibility of the biomedical world to make conclusions about these diseases and disorders, it would seem logical to donate your brain and other organs to help make a stop to somebody else from suffering and possibly save their life.