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Brazilian psychiatric brain bank: a new contribution tool to network studies

Abstract

There is an urgent need for expanding the number of brain banks serving psychiatric research. We describe here the Psychiatric Disorders arm of the Brain Bank of the Brazilian Aging Brain Study Group (Psy-BBBABSG), which is focused in bipolar disorder (BD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Our protocol was designed to minimize limitations faced by previous initiatives, and to enable design-based neurostereological analyses. The Psy-BBBABSG first milestone is the collection of 10 brains each of BD and OCD patients, and matched controls. The brains are sourced from a population-based autopsy service. The clinical and psychiatric assessments were done by an expert team including psychiatrists, through an informant. One hemisphere was perfused-fixed to render an optimal fixation for conducting neurostereological studies. The other hemisphere was comprehensively dissected and frozen for molecular studies. In 20 months, we collected 36 brains. A final report was completed for 14 cases: 3 BDs, 4 major depressive disorders, 1 substance use disorder, 1 mood disorder NOS, 3 obsessive compulsive spectrum symptoms, 1 OCD and 1 schizophrenia. The majority were male (64%), and the average age at death was 67.2 ± 9.0 years. The average postmortem interval was 16 h. Three matched controls were collected. The pilot stage confirmed that the protocols are well fitted to reach our goals. Our unique autopsy source makes possible to collect a fairly number of high quality cases in a short time. Such a collection offers an additional to the international research community to advance the understanding on neuropsychiatric diseases.

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Acknowledgments

The Psy-BBBABSG has the support of the disciplines of Pathology, Psychiatry, Neurology and the Department of Geriatrics, University of Sao Paulo Medical School (FMUSP) and Autopsy Service-USP. We thank the funding agencies: Foundation of Support and Research of Sao Paulo State—FAPESP n. 2009/51482-0, CNPq, Albert Einstein Research and Education Institute for the financial support and building structure to the work of BBBABSG-USP, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nìvel Superior-CAPES for student support (to KCO), FAPESP n. 4996-5 for student support (to CC, LLC). LTG is partially supported by the grant NIH P50 AG23501. We thank the neurosurgeons and PhD student Eduardo Joaquim Lopes Alho by practical lessons in neuroanatomy and dissection of deep brain areas and for psychiatrists by “best estimate diagnosis”: E. Serap Monkul, MD, Ricardo Toniolo, MD, Alexandre Gigante, MD, Ana Gabriela Hounie, MD, PhD, Roseli G. Shavitt, MD, PhD, Antonio Carlos Lopes, MD, PhD, Juliana B. Diniz, MD, PhD.

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Correspondence to L. T. Grinberg.

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de Oliveira, K.C., Nery, F.G., Ferreti, R.E.L. et al. Brazilian psychiatric brain bank: a new contribution tool to network studies. Cell Tissue Bank 13, 315–326 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10561-011-9258-0

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Keywords

  • Brain banking
  • Psychiatry
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postmortem
  • Autopsy
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Stereology, neuropathology