The Michigan Brain Bank currently takes donor enrollments through it's affiliate clinical research studies. If you are interested in participating in a clinical research study you can find further information at the links below:

Autopsy & Donation

Autopsy, examining the body after death, has many benefits. For families, learning the precise cause of the patient’s illness may be a tremendous relief and help to ease uncertainty and doubt. It gives relatives accurate information about the cause of symptoms and confirms or modifies the diagnosis made during life. Autopsy provides relatives with accurate information about their family’s medical history needed for their care and for future generations.

Results of an autopsy, also known as a postmortem examination, is becoming increasingly important as we learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), other neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. It is likely in the future to affect treatment recommendations for family members. Additionally, when an autopsy is done, brain tissue is stored and may be available for additional studies even many years later. For example, this tissue could be used for genetic studies that are important for research.

Autopsies are also an extremely important source of information about how the disease affects the anatomy of the brain. This information is used to direct future research into the causes of memory loss, their progression over time, and clues about effective treatment approaches. For example, researchers recently have found that a previously unrecognized abnormality in brains of patients with dementia called Lewy bodies may be present in 40% of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and may account for some symptoms. We would never have learned this unless we conducted autopsies in addition to our clinical care. What we know about neurodegenerative disorders has only been possible because of the commitment of patients and families like you. Even if individual family members do not benefit directly from a brain autopsy, it can lead to a better understanding of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders for future generations and provide an important measure to assess public health and quality of care.

For most people, the time immediately following the death of a family member is very difficult. It is therefore not a good time for making important decisions such as this. It is best to make the decision about whether or not to enroll for brain autopsy and donation well in advance, with less stress and with consideration for the wishes of the patient and family. 


There are no costs to donors or their families for autopsy and donation when participants meet our eligibility requirements. Please see the current Michigan Brain Bank Donation Requirements document below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Matthew Perkins,
Aug 23, 2016, 5:53 AM
Matthew Perkins,
Aug 23, 2016, 5:54 AM