In a previous post, I wrote about donating your brain. With brain donation, a patient can make a contribution to research, and the patient’s family typically receives a copy of the autopsy report at no charge.
Autopsy studies using tissue from donated brains can help researchers understand the various changes in the brain that may underlie problems in memory and thinking. These studies include examination of the brain by a neuropathologist, who evaluates the type and extent of brain pathologies, or abnormalities, that might be present.
This kind of study was the focus of presentations by Dr. Joseph Parisi, Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, and by Dr. Julie Schneider, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuropathology at Rush University Medical Center at the 7th Annual Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) Symposium last spring. I’ve just posted a summary of their presentations on autopsy studies of the brains of people who had been diagnosed with MCI.