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Quick Uptakes
February 23, 2000

Brain Bank

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JAMA. 2000;283(8):994. doi:10.1001/jama.283.8.994-JQU00000-4-1

Researchers at the University of Florida Brain Institute have announced plans to open a new repository for human brain tissue to support studies of traumatic brain injury.

"Having a bank of tissue from people with brain injuries will greatly aid our efforts to gain information that can be applied in patient care," said Ronald Hayes, PhD, professor of neuroscience. Researchers have modeled brain tissue procurement efforts on organ donation programs that encourage people to sign consent cards to indicate their wishes for donation upon their deaths.

Announcement of the tissue bank comes as a multidisciplinary research team at the institute is launching new studies aimed at finding more effective treatments for patients with brain injuries. "Because so little is understood about the mechanisms by which brain cells are damaged or killed after head injury, there are no standard, approved treatments," Hayes said. About 5.3 million Americans currently have disabilities due to head injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.