TTUHSC Garrison Institute
HomeCenters & InstitutesAging

GIA Brain Bank Program

The GIA Brain Bank Program was established in 2007 to provide tissue samples for current and future research in dementia-related studies.

Importance of the Bank

The clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can only be confirmed by brain autopsy, or the examination of brain tissue after death. This examination will determine a patients's precise type of dementia.

To confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, for example, the brain tissue is examined for amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles by a neuropathologist. The presence of these plaques and tangles will verify the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

While it is important to us to enroll patients with dementia, it is equally important to enroll people with no dementia. These subjects are termed as controls and the brain tissue from controls will enable researchers to make comparisons to brain tissue from dementia patients.

About the Program

The Brain Bank was developed with two service-minded objectives:

  1. Provide a free brain autopsy to confirm clinical diagnosis of dementia, and
  2. Collect, bank and provide brain tissue to qualified scientific researchers studying diseases related to dementia.

By working together, patients and researchers can help us understand the origins of neurodegenerative disease and eventually improve the treatment and care of dementia.

Brain Scan"The banking of brain tissue creates an invaluable resource for scientists because there are no animal models that can precisely replicate the human brain."
Paula Grammas, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Garrison Institute on Aging

The Process Involved in Donation

Proper planning is important in making Brain Bank donations.

  1. Ideally, arrangement will be made in advance to minimize brain cell breakdown between time of death and the completion of an autopsy.
  2. The GIA has prepared "documentation of intent for autopsy" packets. The GIA will help you complete this packet and distribute the form to the pathologist, physician, funeral director, hospital, nursing and/or care home. This packet also includes a procedure sheet to follow if the patient dies at home.
  3. If you are considering a donation to this program, please contact us as soon as possible so that we may answer your questions and begin making arrangements to complete the appropriate paperwork.

Make a Difference

Brain donation is a legacy for future generations. Anyone may donate. However, we highly recommend discussing this decision with your family since at the time of death, a brain autopsy authorization must be must be signed by the next of kin.

Brain donation is a precious gift. This gift will help researchers identify changes in the brain associated with aging, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.Generations

We are seeking donations from individuals who have had an age-related  neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lewy Body or other related dementia. We are also seeking donations from individuals without dementia.
Click here for the full brochure.

More Ways to Give

This program is made possible through private donations. Please consider making a memorial donation to the Garrison Institute on Aging Brain Bank in lieu of flowers or in memory of a loved one. Contributions will enable this program to continue helping families and advancing research into the causes of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Any level of donation is gladly accepted.  To donate or learn more about specific sponsoring opportunities, please click here or call the Research Division at 806.743.3612.

For more information, please contact:

Name Contact Information
TTUHSC Garrison Institute on Aging
Brain Bank Program
3601 4th Street STOP 9424
Lubbock, Texas 79430-9224
Diamond Scott, Coordinator T: 806.743.2385