we need Brain and Spinal Cord Tissue
using human brain and spinal cord tissue are essential to
understanding the biochemical changes that cause damage
and thus the symptoms of MND.
We do have a tissue bank within the medical school at
the University of Sheffield that we use for our research
programme into MND.
donation plays a pivotal role in MND research. Many
areas of research require careful examination of parts
of the body which are often affected by MND. Researchers
believe that changes found in the CNS can help explain
the causes of MND and may provide vital clues about how
to combat the disease.
What do we mean by tissue?
Tissue is the word used for a collection of specialised
cells within the human body that perform a specific job.
All organs are made up of tissue. Researchers
investigating MND are particularly interested in the
whole of the brain, and spinal cord tissue. Collectively
the brain and spinal cord is called the central nervous
Who can donate Tissue
donations from people who have MND. We will also
consider donations from people without the disease but
this needs to be considered on an individual basis and
you should contact the MND helpline below. By comparing these tissues
researchers are able to study the damage caused by MND.
Such information could lead to new diagnostic tests and
strategies for treatment.
only available for local donations, but donations can be
accepted from further afield if transport costs are
covered by the family.
How can I arrange to donate my Brain and Spinal Cord
If you are
considering tissue donation it is better if you can make
arrangements well in advance. This allows you time to
discuss your wishes with family, your next of kin and
health care professionals. Tissue obtained soon after
death is of greatest value to the researcher and it can
make a difficult time easier if arrangements have been
Once you have expressed an interest in donating your
brain and spinal cord tissue to a member of the MND care
Team you will receive a letter informing you about the
process for the future. You need to ensure that your
family/friends and anyone involved in your medical or
nursing care, including your general practitioner, are
aware of your wishes.
the appropriate time someone should contact
Professor Shaw or one of
her team within the Neurology Department at the Royal
Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. Between 9am and 5pm
on weekdays the MND Helpline (telephone number 0114 222
2266) can be contacted for assistance in arrangements
for a donation. Out of hours or at weekends, the person
ringing should be able to get through to Professor Shaw
via the Royal Hallamshire Hospital switchboard
(telephone number 0114 271 1900).
Once you have chosen a local funeral director (this can
be done in advance), we can then make arrangements with
them for rapid transportation through to Sheffield for
the tissue donation. We will ensure that we do not hold
up or interfere with the family arrangements.
you or your family/friends do have any further queries
about this or would like more information then please do
not hesitate to telephone the Sheffield MND Helpline on
0114 222 2266.