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20 Reasons to join the next 20,000 brain donors!

What happens when you spread the word that neuroscientists need post-mortem human brain tissue for research? People sign up to donate their brains to science! We hit a major milestone today when someone made the decision to support science with the greatest gift they can give. As of today, 20,000 people have committed to donating their brains when they die. That’s 20,000 people who hope their contribution might bring cures for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease, mental illness and addictions. And we just can’t thank them enough. Still need a reason to consider it? Here are the top 20 to mark this 20,000-brains-milestone!

20 Reasons to donate your brain (if you haven’t already considered doing so!)

  1. Because if you don’t have a neurologic diagnosis, your brain can be used as the “control” for comparative science…and this kind of tissue is needed in every single study.
  2. Because if you do have a neurologic diagnosis, you can contribute to the science that finds a way to prevent, diagnose, treat and eventually cure that disorder. You might be surprised at how many people donate for exactly that reason.
  3. Because it feels like a waste to be buried or cremated without making this donation…especially knowing how valued it is to neuroscience research.
  4. Because you’re a nice person. And nice people do what they can to help others – even strangers, and even when knowing there’ll be no payback in their lifetime.
  5. Because it doesn’t preclude an open casket and there are members of the family who think that’s important and you’d like to honor their wishes, you can.
  6. Because it won’t cost your family anything extra at your time of death.
  7. Because your family will get a neuropathology report that describes the diagnoses found in your brain. Since we’re closer and closer to understanding the genetic underpinnings of many brain diseases, this info could be very valuable to the family moving forward.
  8. Because all it takes is a little advance paperwork and a conversation with your family to make the arrangements.
  9. Because shortages of tissue from certain brain regions or of specific diseases will slow progress in research.
  10. Because there is no substitute for donated human brain tissue.
  11. Because our chances of developing a neurological disease increase with age. Since we’re living longer than ever, too many people will suffer needlessly if not enough people donate.
  12. Because diagnoses of certain brain diseases are rising at alarming rates. Serious mental disorders, dementia, addiction and others demand some answers.
  13. Because someone in your circle, more likely several people are personally impacted by the brain diseases that now impact one in five Americans.
  14. Because it is not a part of organ donation, but a super valuable way to contribute to the future health of generations.
  15. Because only less than 10% of us die in such a way that our organs are viable for transplant. But nearly everyone can be a brain donor.
  16. Because if you were planning to be an anatomical donor, brain donation is much more meaningful. And it’s possible to do both.
  17. Because the mental health crisis we’re currently in is exacerbated by the fact that there aren’t enough providers. We need new solutions.
  18. Because rare diseases are devastating…affecting mainly children. We should do everything we can to move the needle.
  19. Because the long, slow goodbye of dementia is torture. It’s time to put a stop to it.
  20. Because science needs us. All of us.

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