Beaumont Hospital

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Ireland's First Brain Bio-Banking Network

Ireland's first brain bio-banking network, the Dublin Brain Bank, was officially launched in October 2008.

The new initiative facilitates nationwide brain donation and allows researchers and clinicians access to precious human brain tissue for research in devastating diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Motor Neuron Disease. While initially based in Dublin, it is hoped to expand it to other areas around the country in the future to create a National Irish Brain Bank.

Although the number of people in Ireland suffering from neurological diseases is increasing, it was (until recently) one of the few countries in Europe that did not have a National Brain Bank. According to research, there are currently more than 40,000 people in Ireland with dementia, with the number expected to be in excess of 104,000 by 2037 unless there is a medical breakthrough.

Professor Michael Farrell, Consultant Neuropathologist in Beaumont Hospital, is responsible for the day to day running of the Dublin Brain Bank.  To quote Professor Farrell: "By providing researchers and clinicians with much needed brain tissue, the network offers potential for improvements in diagnosis and treatment of patients. It will also play a significant role in informing and supporting those wishing to make a post mortem donation and their families. It is through their courage and generosity that will ultimately lead to the benefit of others in the future."

Professor Michael Farrell,
Consultant Neuropathologist