The Drs TV: Donate Your Brain?
The Doctors shared that you can help find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia by making a donation, but the donation certainly isn’t a financial one. Dr Deborah Mash is the director of the Brain Endowment Bank at the University of Miami and she explained that they are one of the first brain banks in the U.S.. She also shared that they have over 2,000 brains that have been donated for medical research. She took The Doctors inside the room where the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, Schizophrenia, major depression, and those who suffered from drug addiction are stored. They also have brains of children who had neuro-development disabilities.
She shared that one brain can provide hundreds of tissue samples to qualified scientists throughout the U.S.. She showed a brain sample of an individual who was diagnosed with schizophrenia during their life. She showed how pathways of the brain could affected in mental illness. She shared that they had learned more about the human brain in the last 20 years than throughout all of human history. Thanks to the donation of brains, they will be able to research cures and better treatments for many debilitating brain diseases.
The Doctors: Studying Human Brains
Dr Mash was on the show various brain tissue samples. She started by showing slices of a normal human brain and shared that there are 100 billion neurons. She then showed the brain of someone who had Dementia, explaining that it causes the brain to atrophy. She said when you hit your 70th birthday, you become at risk for cognitive impairment. Some of those people will go on to develop full Alzheimer’s.
Dr Mash said they have to look at a brain under a microscope and do various kinds of staining to make the diagnosis after death. Now, they’re able to go in and isolate the DNA, genes, and RNA of single neurons, which is how the breakthroughs are going to come about.
Dr Travis Stork said they need the brain donations in order to better understand various diseases. He highly recommends that people consider donating their brains for research.