I recently attended a seminar on current research into Parkinson’s. It was organised by Parkinson’s UK (the support and research charity) as part of a series of local seminars aimed at people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and was presented by one of Parkinson’s UK’s research team. It was very, very interesting; Dr Lubna Arif is an engaging speaker, and she managed to present an overview of the research that the charity is currently involved with and to summarise how the charity supports research.
One of the many things that she spoke about was the Parkinson’s UK Brain Bank. This is not (as I initially guessed) a group of highly intelligent people doing a lot of serious thinking about research into Parkinson’s. It is something a little more prosaic: a ‘bank’ of brain samples that have been donated after death.
The Parkinson’s UK Brain Bank collect and preserve the brains of people who have signed up to donate their brain for research purposes. The Brain Bank supplies researchers with the samples that they require to further their research into Parkinson’s.
As well as collecting brains affected by Parkinson’s, the team also require brains from people without Parkinsonian symptoms. In fact, there is a shortage of non-Parkinson’s brains in the bank.
I’ve requested my information pack (the first stage in signing up to become a Brain Donor) – will you?