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Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center

Established at McLean Hospital as a centralized resource for the collection and distribution of human brain specimens for brain research. This is a national resource for the acquisition, processing, storage, distribution of high quality postmortem brain specimens for brain research. Specimens are obtained at no charge via a request form downloaded at website. Research over the past decade has shown that the study of human brain tissue is essential to increasing our understanding of how the nervous system functions. Most recently, postmortem human brain research has played a significant role in the development of a genetic test for Huntington's disease as well as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Similarly, neurochemical and anatomical studies focusing on the biological nature of the severe mental illnesses are now emerging and bringing forth new hope for understanding the underlying brain mechanisms responsible for psychosis and other symptoms associated with these debilitating brain disorders. In order to perform research into the neurological or psychiatric disorders, it is vital to collect normal control tissue as well. Scientists from the nation's top research and medical centers request tissue from The Brain Bank for their investigations. Since the majority of these studies can be carried out on a very small amount of tissue, each donated brain provides a large number of samples for many researchers. However, in order to conduct valid experiments, it is necessary to supply researchers with a variety of brain specimens. Various types of brain tissue are collected including those with neurological and psychiatric disorders, and their parents, siblings and offspring. The HBTRC maintains the most extensive collection of postmortem human brains from individuals with Huntington's chorea, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and a growing number of other neurological disorders. In addition, the HBTRC also has a significant collection of brains from individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depressive illness, as well as normal-control specimens that are essential as a comparison group for all of these brain disorders. The Brain Tissue Resource Center is interested in collecting tissue from individuals diagnosed with various other disorders not mentioned. With the NIH funding that supports the HBTRC, all disbursements are made at no cost to the recipient laboratory. See the National Brain Databank for gene expression data related to samples.

URL: http://www.brainbank.mclean.org/

Resource ID: nif-0000-00192     Resource Type: Resource     Version: Latest Version


brain tissue, brain, tissue, cerebral spinal fluid, fresh quick-frozen, block, coronal section, nitrogen vapor frozen, dry ice frozen, passive frozen, formalin-fixed, frozen, huntington's disease, parkinson's disease, healthy, mental disease, neurological disorder, normal control, alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, relative, parent, sibling, child, lewy body variant alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia, unipolar depressive disorder, diffuse lewy body disease, dyt-1 dystonia, progressive supranuclear palsy, rett syndrome, tourette's syndrome, restless legs syndrome, autism, post-mortem, late adult human, data set, gene expression


Sample type: Brain tissue, Brain, Tissue, Cerebral Spinal Fluid

Additional Resource Types

brain bank, tissue bank, biospecimen repository



Related Disease

Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Healthy, Mental disease, Neurological disorder, Normal control, Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Relative, Parent, Sibling, Child, Lewy Body Variant Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Dementia, Unipolar Depressive Dissorder, Diffuse Lewy Body Disease, DYT-1 Dystonia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Rett Syndrome, Tourette's Syndrome

Resource PubMed IDs

PMID: 17326821, PMID: 21901133, PMID: 22558368, PMID: 22984548, PMID: 23665920, PMID: 24150225, PMID: 25080494




Harvard Brain Bank, The Brain Bank

Parent Organization


Fresh quick-frozen, Block, Coronal section, Nitrogen vapor frozen, Dry ice frozen, Passive frozen, Formalin-fixed, Frozen



Resource Status

Last checked up;

Funding Information

National Institutes of Health, Private organizations, NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research,

Curation Status


Listed By

One Mind Biospecimen Bank Listing, Biobank

Related Application




Original Submitter


Version Status


Submitted On

12:00am August 17, 2011

Originated From


Changes from Previous Version

First Version

Version 1

Created 4 years ago by Anonymous