Become a Brain Donor

Your brain could help researchers unlock the next cure.

Why Donate Your Brain?

We encourage people with brain diseases as well as those with healthy brains to consider making a brain donation. People affected by a neurological disease may donate their brain for the following reasons: 

  1. To get a definitive diagnosis. Many brain diseases can only be definitively diagnosed through a postmortem tissue examination, and having one may bring loved ones greater peace of mind.
  2. To support brain disease research. By donating your brain, you are contributing to research into the causes, treatments, and cures for brain diseases. 

We also need healthy brains to compare against and to learn more about the brain in general. Studying real tissue samples will lead to better diagnoses, help determine causes, and pave the way to cures. 

While the American Brain Foundation does not manage any brain donation programs, donations through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) NeuroBioBank support the urgent need for brain donations to further a wide range of research.

What to Know About Brain Donation

  • People over the age of 18 can register as a potential brain donor. 
  • Parents or legal guardians may register a minor as a potential brain donor.
  • The average cost to donate a brain around the U.S. is about $800, though grants for certain disorders may be available.
  • Brain banks exist for a variety of diseases, including Lewy body dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, and frontotemporal dementia, among others.

Learn more about brain donation from the NIH’s NeuroBioBank / Brain Donor Project and the Brain Support Network.