The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) conducts scientific projects to investigate neurodegenerative diseases of the brain and spinal cord, such as Alzheimer's dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Until now, the underlying mechanisms of these diseases remain largely unresolved. The research activities of the DZNE focus on a better understanding of the onset and course of these diseases with the aim of developing new therapeutic methods.
Despite scientific progress in the development of model systems for some of these diseases, current experience shows that no method can replace the direct examination of diseased human brain tissue, as no model reflects the exact situation of the disease in humans.
In addition, the diagnosis of many neurodegenerative diseases is currently not possible with 100% certainty during a patient's lifetime. A definitive diagnosis is often only possible by examining tissue samples taken from the brain and spinal cord. This so called neuropathological examination is considered the "diagnostic gold standard" for neurodegenerative diseases. It happens repeatedly that diagnoses that were supposedly made with certainty during a patient's lifetime have to be corrected by the neuropathological examination. This is however the best and only way to further improve the accuracy of diagnostic procedures during patients' lifetime.
Thus, the examination of brain and spinal cord tissues obtained from deceased persons during an autopsy is crucial for further progress in deciphering disease mechanisms, improving clinical diagnostics, and developing new therapeutic approaches.
The DZNE, in cooperation with university partners, is therefore establishing the DZNE Brain Bank, in which biomaterial from the brain, spinal cord and other organs of deceased donors are examined, collected, stored and made available for research projects.
Further information about the DZNE Brain Bank (e. g. who can become a tissue donor, what are the concrete processes) can be found in this flyer (only available in German).
Contact for Donors and Relatives
24-hour Hotline of the DZNE Brain Bank:
Head / Project Management
Tissue Request / Regulations for Use
The tissue request form as well as the regulations for use of the DZNE Brain Bank can be downloaded here: