Leaving a Legacy for Research and Future Generations
This national brain tissue repository is a partnership between LKCMedicine, National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), National Healthcare Group (NHG) and NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. It was set up in November 2019 to help further the understanding of different neurological disorders, including degenerative, psychiatric and inflammatory types. Although Brain Banks have been established in the USA and Europe for a few decades, the Brain Bank Singapore will contribute a vital resource towards the neuroscience puzzle in better unravelling the interplay between local genetic and environmental factors in the actual disease processes.
Two and a half years later since the Brain Bank started under the COVID-19 pandemic, we have spent extensive efforts on community outreach, media publicity and hospitals engagement for this brain donation program whereby we have more than 170 pledged donors currently. There are four cases of brain donations to the tissue bank (regulated under the MOH Human Tissue Framework) that are being processed in the laboratory into stained specimen slides for the generation of a neuropathological report. This neuropathological report will be accompanied by the clinical summary of the anonymized brain case so that these can be provided together with the tissue requests in ethics-approved studies.
Donated human brain tissues are possible due to the altruistic wishes of donors and caregivers to contribute towards biomedical research. It will benefit tremendously towards sensitive analytical techniques like single nucleus RNA sequencing (sn-RNAseq) for the expression profile in each disease, spatial transcriptomics, imaging and other probes for genes, metabolism and molecular pathways. If you wish to make a difference not only on the laboratory bench or clinical setting, please consider brain donation as leaving a legacy for future research and scientific breakthroughs.