Brain Bank for Autism and Related Disorders – a collaboration between KIND and the Brain Bank at Karolinska Institutet

In a collaboration between KIND and the Brain Bank at Karolinska Institutet we aim to facilitate for future researchers to give new answers about neurodevelopmental disorders, through collection of donated brain tissue for research.

Neurodevelopmental disorders are complex conditions highly determined by genetic factors and the etiology is largely unknown. Unidentified environmental factors can probably act as triggers or “second hits”. Research is needed about pathogenic processes of the brain resulting from interaction between genes and environmental factors, i.e. epigenetic factors. The only way of studying cerebral epigenetic factors is using brain tissue, e.g. for analyses of RNA transcriptomes.

In order to collect such tissue, KIND has established collaboration with the Brain Bank KI, a part of the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. The Brain Bank at KI provides the infrastructure for extraction of brain tissue, preparation, storage and requests from approved researchers, as well as administration of written consents from donors and their next of kin. The KI Brain Bank has all necessary ethical and other permits in place.

The aim of the project is to enable high-quality research about autism spectrum disorders and related conditions, through providing brain tissue from affected persons and from healthy controls to highly qualified researchers worldwide. Qualified researchers will, if approved by an advisory board, thus be able to require brain tissue from the Brain Bank at KI.

Information about the value for research of post mortem brain donation and how to become a donor is distributed through patient organizations as well as professional networks in health care and carefully chosen media. Contacts have already been established with representatives of patient organizations (“Autism- och Asperger förbundet” and “Attention”).

This project is one of many ways for KIND to contribute to enhancing knowledge about the brain and on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, which possibly can lead to new understanding of pathological processes and possibilities for prevention and/or treatments.

If you are interested in becoming a donor to the Brain Bank, please send an email with your name and postal address to Sven Bölte and you will receive full project descriptions and consent forms by mail.

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Sven Bölte