Department of Neuropathology Brain Donor Scheme


The diagnosis of a degenerative neurological disease such as dementia, motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis is devastating for a patient but also their family. The prognosis of some of these conditions has not changed significantly in the past decades but for others such as multiple sclerosis, the prognosis and treatment has advanced considerably.

Despite the suffering these patients and their families endure, many wish to benefit future patients with similar conditions.

During life, many arrange for brain donation to occur after death. This can provide information as to the categorisation of their neurological disease, as many of these precise diagnoses are obscure during the lifetime of the patient. It can also provide information with regard to the possible genetics or inheritance of a condition and it is also provides material for research in order to investigate these rare, devastating diseases and to help future patients.

The Department of Neuropathology in Belfast Trust for many decades has run a Brain Donor Service, where patients and their relatives can donate brain tissue after death in order to facilitate diagnosis and further research.

Over the years the Department has liaised with various other institutions throughout the world in order to share tissue for research. Currently our main link is with the Dublin Brain Bank.

A small team of dedicated doctors, scientists and administrative staff run this service on a 365 day year, 24/7 basis.

Further information can be obtained from Neuropathology Office (028) 9063 2613. See also the following links: