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Introduction to the NICHD Brain & Tissue Bank

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Thank you for considering brain and tissue donation for research. Hundreds of different disorders affect children in childhood and into adulthood. Our goal is to speed the day that these disorders no longer diminish the quality or length of life of our children.


  • Accepts pre-registration for future tissue donations.
  • Arranges to recover brain and other affected tissue within approximately 24 hours after death.
  • Screens researchers who request tissue samples for approved research studies.

The NICHD BTB is funded by the National Institute of Health to collect tissue from disorders that start in childhood. Brain donations are accepted from affected donors of any age. Some examples are the following:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Down syndrome and other chromosomal disorders
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome and other birthmark disorders
  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Mitochondrial disorders
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Hundreds of other disorders of childhood
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), although it is not a disorder with a childhood onset, the NICHD BTB is very active in supporting ALS research.

At this time the NICHD BTB is NOT collecting tissue from individuals with the following disorders:

  • Individuals without any disorder
  • Alzheimer or Parkinson Disease
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Individuals with communicable diseases
  • Anyone with cancer since cancer will potentially confound the research results.

Complete a registration form. For more information, click on the tabs on the left menu. You can also e-mail the NICHD BTB with questions.

If tissue donation is imminent, CALL 1-800-847-1539 in the continental US or 1-410-706-1755.

Registration is not complete until staff reviews the registration material.  

Why brain tissue is necessary to unravel the underlying causes of many disorders: