The VCU Brain Tissue Resource Facility, managed by the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, advances the research of Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Collection of autopsy and human brain tissue donations from those with neurodegenerative diseases and their families, as well as health volunteers contribute to this important work.
Human brain tissue is vital for this research because cell and animal models widely used to mimic these human diseases do not recreate the disease precisely.
Dr. Bennett and his research team at the Center have used donated brain tissue to study brain mitochondria in both normal and diseased states. Mitochondria serve as power plants, creating energy for cells. Neurons in the brain use large amounts of energy compared to most other tissues in the body, so efficient functioning of mitochondria is critical to the neuron’s health.
Another recently initiated project focuses on epigenetics, studying the changes in gene activity that result from environmental causes such as stress, diet or insecticides. The Center’s laboratories are using donated brain tissue to investigate whether epigenetics may contribute to Parkinson’s disease.
We thank individuals and families for this generous donation during such a difficult time. For more information about brain donation or autopsy, please contact Paula Keeney, at email@example.com or (804) 827-5272
This important research would not be possible without the continued support of our generous donors. To learn more about ways you can support this or other Center programs, please contact Andrea Perseghin, (804) 828-3747.