The Registration for Brain Donation
FAQ

Ask Us Anything that You Want to Know about the Brain Donation

  • 1. Why do brain donations are needed?

    Post-mortem examinations of brain and spinal cord tissues are essential for an accurate diagnosis of incurable degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia and Lou Gehrig’s disease

     Clinical assessment(including blood test, neuropsychological test, neuroimaging tests - MRI or PET scans, etc.) itself cannot be an enough source to make a diagnosis of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia or Lou Gehrig’s disease. An accurate diagnosis of such disease can only be made by confirming the protein, which caused the disorder, with post-mortem examinations of brain and spinal cord tissues.

    Researches on brain and spinal cord tissues are required for the development of new cure for incurable degenerative brain diseases. 

    Degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s disease are currently classified as incurable and intractable diseases. We don’t know why some get to suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, whereas others don’t and live healthy lives in their old ages. Furthermore, there is no basic cure to get rid of protein which causes degenerative brain diseases. Researches on brain and spinal cord tissues would be a great help in finding out real causes of degenerative brain diseases and developing a new cure.

    Therefore, by donating brain and spinal cord tissues, one can contribute to clarification of causes of degenerative brain diseases and development of cure for such diseases. In addition, an accurate diagnosis of dementia can be made and thereby knowledge and information about the disease that your family member is suffering from can be obtained.  

  • 2. Can people without degenerative brain diseases donate their brains?

    Of course, they can.

    Changes due to the normal aging process and due to degenerative brain diseases can be distinguished, and relevant researches can be conducted only by comparing brain tissues of patients with degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and those of people without such diseases.

  • 3. How do I register for brain donation?

    You have to complete forms required by your own in order to register for brain donation.

    When the patient can’t make a decision by him/herself due to the cognitive impairment, not only the consent of patient, but also the consent of legal representative is required. The legal representative who signed the relevant form shall also submit documents(certificate of family relations, etc.) which can prove that he/she him/herself is the legal representative of the patient. If you contact the special coordinator of PNUH Brain Bank(+82-10-6687-7311), full details of process for brain donation and ways to donate your brain shall be given.

  • 4. Will it cost us to donate brains?

    No.

    Family members of the deceased, the registered brain donor, don’t have to pay for anything in relation to brain donation.

  • 5. What do we do when the person registered as a brain donor dies?

    The brain of the deceased, the brain donor, shall be donated in 24 hours following the death of the deceased.

    Therefore, family members of the registered brain donor shall immediately contact the coordinator of Brain Bank(+82-10-6687-7311) at the time of the registered brain donor’s death. The special coordinator will adjust the schedule for the brain donation while you are placing the body of the deceased at the funeral home and having a funeral.

  • 6. Does brain donation interfere with funeral arrangements?

    Approximately 4 to 8 hours will be taken to move the body of the brain donor from the funeral home to Pusan National University’s school of medicine in Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam-do and to bring the body of the brain donor back to the funeral home.

    All these procedures shall be progressed by the medical team and special coordinator. Therefore, family members of the deceased don’t have a thing to worry about in regards to this matter.

  • 7. Why the spinal cord shall also be donated when you donate a brain?

    The spinal cord is an important body part which makes the one can move one’s body by delivering messages from the brain down to peripheral nerves. Also, it transmits the stimulus received at parts at the end of body to the brain. Especially, in the event of degenerative changes in the spinal cord, Lou Gehrig’s disease, one of degenerative brain disease, can develop. In addition to that, various degenerative brain diseases including frontotemporal dementia can also develop along with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    Therefore, examinations of spinal cord tissues are also required along with those of brain tissues in order to conduct researches to find out causes and make a diagnosis of degenerative brain diseases.