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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?
Our program is open to everyone. We accept post-mortem tisue at any age for a wide range of developmental, psychiatric, neurologic, and movement disorders. Additionally, we emphasize the importance of tissue donation from children for pediatric medical research, as well as from healthy individuals for comparison. 

Are you a whole-body donation facility?
No, our facility only recovers the brain and affected nervous system tissues. 

Is an organ donor also automatically a brain donor?
No, organ donation for medical purposes (organ transplant) does not include brain donation which is exclusively for research purposes. However, it is possible to be both a brain AND organ donor.

Does my religion prohibit brain donation?
No religions prohibit brain donation. However, we encourage you to discuss it with your spiritual advisor. 

Will my identity be kept confidential?
Prior to analysis, tissue disbursement, or publications, all personal identifiers will be removed to protect you and your family's privacy. 

Is there a cost to my family?
There is no cost associated with brain donation. UMBTB is responsible for all costs related to tissue donation but does not cover any funeral expenses.

Will brain donation affect funeral arrangements?
Choosing to participate in brain donation and going throught the procedure will not delay funeral arrangements. Our coordinators will work with the funeral home and your family to ensure the procedure is completed in a timely manner.

Will the procedure leave any scars on my face or body?
The procedure will not alter the individual's appearance in any way regardless of the funeral arrangements. There is no interference with the option to have an open casket.

Will my family receive the results of the autopsy?
While no full autopsy will be completed, a neuropathology report containing the summary of findings from the examination of the brain can be provided to your family upon request at no additional cost.