Brains for Dementia Research: The Importance of Cohorts in Brain Banking

  • Paul T. FrancisEmail author
  • Gillian M. Hayes
  • Helen Costello
  • David R. Whitfield

Background: The Historical Importance of Studies of Human Brain in Dementia Research

The collection of brain and related tissue has a long history [1]. In terms of dementia, a more systematic examination of the relationship between brain pathology and clinical symptoms can be traced to Alois Alzheimer’s group in Munich in the early 1900s [2]. The use of human brain tissue is essential to increase our understanding of dementia as it gives us the gold standard of disease pathogenesis and clues as to the molecular mechanisms that underpin the various diseases and conditions. From such human studies, experimental models can be interrogated against this standard and new treatment strategies can be discovered for these socially and economically devastating conditions.

Following reporting of the index case, it was not until the 1960s that more detailed neuropathological investigations of the brain in relation to dementia began. These studies were accompanied by efforts to introduce...



This perspective article was supported by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. We thank the Brains for Dementia Research participants, donors, and their families.


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul T. Francis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gillian M. Hayes
    • 1
  • Helen Costello
    • 1
  • David R. Whitfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Wolfson Centre for Age-Related DiseasesKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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