Many people are registered organ donors, but did you know you can register to donate your brain? It’s an option that you can discuss with your doctor and your family to see if it’s right for you. Brain donation is open to people living with brain disorders, diseases or injuries, as well as those with typical brain function.
Despite progress in neuro-imaging technology, there is a lot we don’t know about the brain. Studying brain tissue can help researchers improve diagnostic tools, understand the cause of certain disorders, and work towards finding treatments or cures.
If you’d like to learn more, you can read our article which covers everything you need to know about brain donation >
Unfortunately, the national Australian Brain Bank Network (ABBN) stopped operating in 2019. Brain donations are now mostly organised by state-based brain banks, which are listed below.
Phone: 1300 672 265
The MS Research Australia Brain Bank is a specialised tissue bank supporting research into causes of and cures for multiple sclerosis (MS), by providing high quality and well-characterised MS tissue to researchers. People with MS in Australia can choose to donate their brain and other tissues of the nervous system for the purposes of MS research after their death. People who do not have MS can also donate brain and other tissues to MS research, as non-MS tissue is needed for comparison in many of these studies. Please see the website for further details. The MS Brain Bank team welcomes calls/emails if you have any questions, or would simply like to discuss further to get a better understanding of what’s involved.
Phone: 02 9399 1707
NSW brain donors can register for a number of different research programs through the Sydney Brain Bank. There are certain eligibility requirements for different programs, and please note that they do not accept at death or near death donations. They encourage you to enrol as a donor as early as possible if you are interested in brain donation.
Web: http://usingourbrains.com.au/ (alternate page)
Phone: 02 9351 2410
The NSW Brain Tissue Resource Centre is a specialised brain bank based at the University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre. The primary focus of their collection is to support research into alcohol disorders, mental health disorders and healthy control tissue.
Phone: 02 9351 0774
The Brain and Mind Centre is a global leader in research and treatment. In particular, they focus on conditions that affect child development, youth mental health and brain ageing. They aim to understand individual circumstances and to develop solutions that improve the quality of life for both patients and their loved ones. You can contact them directly to enquire about brain donation.
Phone: (02) 9351 0943
The Australian Sports Brain Bank (ASBB) is a specialised brain bank established by the Department of Neuropathology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in partnership with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the University of Sydney. The mission of the ASBB is to accelerate research and understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other brain pathology that is associated with repetitive head injury in sport and elsewhere. As a result, the ASBB welcome pledges from anyone who has suffered from repetitive head injury, either through sport (at any level), or though other circumstances such as illness or accidents. ASBB also welcomes pledges from healthy individuals without exposure to head injury to help in understanding CTE and similar conditions.
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 08 9224 2925 (Caroline) or 08 6152 5218 (John)
Please contact Caroline or John directly to discuss registering as a donor for the Western Australia Brain Bank. They are available 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The South Australian Brain Bank (SABB) is not accepting donations at the moment (updated February 2021).
Unfortunately, there are no state-based brain donor organisations in Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria, the ACT, or the Northern Territory. However, if you are in Queensland, the ACT, or Tasmania, you can contact the Brain and Mind Centre to see if anything can be arranged as they may cover these states on a case by case basis.
Please speak to your GP or neurologist if you have any further questions about how to donate your brain.