Degenerative Brain Disease
Post-Mortem Brain Donation and the Necessity for Definitive Diagnosis

1. The definitive diagnosis of degenerative brain disease is possible only with a brain tissue examination.

The definitive diagnosis of incurable degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other such diseases, is possible only with a post-mortem brain tissue examination.

Advanced countries, including the USA, have confirmed the diagnosis of degenerative brain diseases through brain tissue examination for decades. However, post-mortem brain tissue examinations and brain donations have not advanced in Korea because of cultural aversion towards these activities.

2. Research on brain tissues is required for the development of new treatments for incurable degenerative brain diseases.

The increase in the elderly population due to population aging has also increased the incidence of degenerative    brain disease, which is a common disease that occurs in old age.

No specific cause or cure for degenerative brain diseases has been found. Research on brain tissues donated after a person’s death can significantly help researchers find specific causes and develop new treatments for degenerative brain diseases.

Especially, in cases of degenerative brain diseases that are genetic or can be inherited, research on brain tissues obtained through post-mortem brain donations can largely contribute to the protection of the children and grandchildren of those affected from such diseases, and provide a cure for people who are already suffering from such diseases.