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Brain Autopsy & Tissue Research

Brain Bank

The HDCRC NO LONGER maintains an HD brain bank. The brain bank is a depository for brain tissue that has been donated for research purposes. Unfortunately, due to space limitations this program has been suspended indefinitely. For more information on Brain Tissue donation please click here to be taken to the Harvard Brain Bank website. Information on tissue donation and its impact on medical research will remain on this page for educational purposes. 


The postmortem analysis of brain tissue is a vital aspect of Huntington's Disease research, through which we can examine the changes in the brain and correlate them with motor, cognitive, and behavioral changes that occur in HD.

Brain tissue research will help to further our understanding of how the central nervous system functions and has already proven to be invaluable by playing a significant role in the development of the genetic test for HD.


Brain donations require that the tissue be removed as close to the time of death as possible. After consenting to a brain donation, you will receive detailed information with instructions about how to proceed at the time of your death. It is important to inform a family member or friend of your wishes and provide them with this information.

It is recommended that you inform your personal physician or other healthcare provider if you have been admitted to a facility for care so that the consent and information can be placed in your medical record.

Valuable Research

Everyone who authorizes this procedure will be making available valuable research materials which may help us to understand how to protect future generations. Although the gene mutation responsible for HD has been identified, it is critical to continue seeking the causes, prevention, and cure for Huntington's Disease.

More Information

If you are a current research participant and are interested in becoming a brain donor, please call the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at 800-272-4622 or visit their website below for more detailed information