The University of Calgary (UC) and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) have established the Calgary Brain Bank (CBB) to study neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer dementia. The Calgary Brain Bank has been designed to assist scientists who study these diseases by providing them with human brain tissues from both disease states and normal aging.
Currently, animal models do not fully reproduce the pathological changes seen in human neurodegenerative diseases. Degenerative brain disease research, even using animals, still relies on human tissue for analysis and to verify or determine the relevance of results from animal studies. The CBB provides pathologically-characterized human tissues to qualified researchers studying neurodegenerative diseases.
Funding for the Calgary Brain Bank comes from a generous grant provided by Marion Lamb and a professorship in dementia research established by Donald Burns and Louise Berlin.
The CBB is run by Dr. Eric E. Smith, who is a stroke and dementia neurologist, and Dr. Jeffrey T. Joseph, who is a neuropathologist. Daily operations are handled primarily by Dr. Jeffrey T. Joseph. The Calgary Brain Bank differs from most other banks by providing small samples from anatomically-specific and neuropathologically-characterized tissues and offering tissues from individuals who had no known neurologic diseases.
The CBB focuses specifically on neurodegenerative diseases and aging. These diseases include the following:
- Dementias, including Alzheimer disease (AD), Lewy body dementia (LBD), and frontotemporal dementias (FTD)
- Movement disorders, including Parkinson disease and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Separate brains banks are established, please visit their sites for more information; for brain tumours - Clark H. Smith Tumour and Tissue Bank and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance System
For information about the Calgary Brain Bank for patients and their families please visit Patient and Family Information.
Families may also be interested in "Autopsy Information for Next of Kin" which provides general information about autopsies.
If you would like more detailed information about obtaining an autopsy please see "Adult Autopsy" at Alberta Precision Laboratories.
Physicians and other health care professionals seeking additional information about the Calgary Brain Bank and how to obtain an autopsy, please visit Health Care Professional Information.
Scientists interested in obtaining tissue for research, please click Researchers and Scientists.