Medicine

The Harvard Brain Bank Is Driving Life-Saving Neuroscience

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As the largest and oldest federally funded brain bank in the United States, the Harvard Tissue Resource Center is home to shelves upon shelves of deceased brains—whole brains, dissected brains; healthy brains, diseased brains; deep-frozen brains and brains floating in formaldehyde. The almost four-decade-old institution takes in about 300 brains annually and sends out around 6,000 tissue samples a year to researchers throughout the world who are seeking to uncover the biological basis for many debilitating brain disorders. Those include everything from psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and PTSD to neurological disorders such as Huntington's and Parkinson's to neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and Down's syndrome. However, healthy brains are still in high demand at the brain bank, since they're what researchers use to compare differences between diseased and healthy tissue. Explore the benefits of brain research below.

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