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Introduction to the UMB 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 UMB 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 UMB BTB is very active in supporting ALS research.
  • The Bank also accepts brain and tissue donations from blood relatives of anyone with a disorder listed above (unless the relative has cancer).
  • Please contact the Bank with questions regarding other disorders.

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

  • Alzheimer or Parkinson Disease
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Individuals with communicable diseases
  • Anyone with cancer since cancer will potentially confound the research results.
  • Individuals without any disorder. (The Bank does accept brain and tissue donations from unaffected blood relatives of someone with a disorder of interest to the Bank).

Complete a registration form. For more information, click on the tabs on the left menu. You can also e-mail the UMB 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: