Factors that influence decisions by families to donate brain tissue for medical research

Cell Tissue Bank. 2009 Nov;10(4):309-15. doi: 10.1007/s10561-009-9136-1. Epub 2009 Jun 11.


Whilst mainstream transplant literature provides valuable insights into the influences on families to donate organs and tissues for transplant, the relevance of these findings in relation to organ donation for research remain speculative. The present study aims to expand the research donation literature, by exploring factors that influence a family's decision to donate brain tissue to neuroscience research. The verbal responses of the senior available next-of-kin (NOK), to the question of brain donation for research, are analysed. The donation rate was high (54%) over the 5-year-period. NOK relationship to the deceased, and post mortem interval were the main factors associated with a positive donation. Parents were most likely to donate and this may result from a lifetime of decision-making on behalf of the deceased. Also, the longer the interval between death of the potential donor and the question being asked, the greater the likelihood of donation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomedical Research* / ethics
  • Data Collection
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosciences* / ethics
  • Third-Party Consent* / ethics
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement* / ethics
  • Young Adult