The Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC) is a national resource for the acquisition, processing, storage and distribution of high quality postmortem (PM) brain tissue to the neuroscience community. The HBTRC collects brains from individuals with a variety of movement disorders (Huntington's chorea and Parkinson's disease), dementias (Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementias), major psychoses (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) and autism. A key aspect of its functioning involves the acquisition of 70 normal controls representing a broad range of ages. During the current funding period, the HBTRC has continued its core value of maintaining the quality and efficiency of its operation. Each year, the HBTRC collects approximately 275-300 brains and distributes thousands of tissue samples to investigators in the U.S. and abroad. As a result of this effort, the HBTRC provides neuroscientists with well-characterized cohorts consisting of CONs and diseased brains matched for age, PMI, gender and hemisphere. Since almost all of our cases are obtained through community-based referrals, the potential confounding effects of institutionalization, inanition and substance abuse are minimized. To facilitate the donation and processing of brains, the HBTRC has a website with all the necessary forms including a) the Informed Consent for the donor families, b) instructions for handling brains by pathologists or dieners involved in removal, and c) application forms for investigators seeking tissue for their research. The HBTRC also has a User-Interactive Database, so that investigators who receive tissue from the """"""""brain bank"""""""" can obtain critical information, such as demographics and neuropathology reports, as well as images of gross dissections and histological slides;To enhance the utility of our tissue, the HBTRC performs gene expression profiling on key regions of interest for each disorder and """"""""deposits"""""""" this data in the National Brain Databank (NBD), a public domain repository from which investigators receiving tissue from the HBTRC can download this raw data. In turn, these investigators are encouraged to """"""""deposit"""""""" their findings in the NBD so that colleagues studying the same disorder can use them for their respective studies. Over the next funding period, the HBTRC will continue its role as a vital national resource for the distribution of well-characterized, high quality tissue to the neuroscience community.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-S (04))
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Meinecke, Douglas L
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Mclean Hospital
United States
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