Every person with MS in Australia above the age of 18 can register with the MS Research Australia Brain Bank.
There is no upper age limit on becoming a Brain Donor and we welcome all people with MS to consent to donate post-mortem tissue, regardless of the stage or subtype of disease. Even people with mild or early stage disease should consider signing up to donate. If you are signed up and have a fatal illness or accident, your brain and other tissues, could still be used for MS research, and therefore help others with the disease.
Donor pre-consent is important so that medical information can be collected ahead of time. Therefore, the sooner someone can register as a Brain Donor, the better. Pre-consent also ensures that brain donation can be arranged rapidly after death. ‘At death’ donations cannot be accepted.
Tissue from people with infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B or C, HIV, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is not accepted by the MS Research Australia Brain Bank. This is to reduce the risk to staff and scientists handling the tissue.
Researchers need to compare MS tissues with tissue derived from people who do not have a brain disease or other neurological diseases in order to find out what is specifically wrong in MS brains.
People without MS, including family members and friends, can still donate their brains for research. If you live in Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory or Tasmania please complete the registration form and we will send you a consent pack. If you live in other states and terriroties you can donate your brain as part of the ‘Using our Brains’ donor program. Please see www.braindonors.org for further details.