The importance of donating your brain to science

By Kevin Woo

Millions of people across the country have checked the “organ donor” box in their driver’s license. Although we don’t like to think about it, should something happen, our vital organs will be harvested and given to an organ recipient.  Some of the most commonly transplanted organs are the heart, kidney, liver, lungs and skin.

But since 1986 more than two thousand people have donated their brains to medical researchers and pathologists at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. The researchers say that studying brain tissue helps them learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological illnesses

“In the past 20 years we have learned more about the human brain than we have in human history,”says Deborah Mash, professor of neurology at the University of Miami  and director of the university’s Brain Endowment Bank.

Since 1986 the brain bank has received 2,066 donated brains and another 500 people have pledged to donate their brain after death.

Do you and your loved ones have plans to donate your brains to science? It might just make a difference.

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