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The need for tissue donations

Posted Jun 26 2012 12:31pm

The recent loss of tissue from one of the tissue banks is a major setback to autism research. Tissue, brain tissue in particular, is an incredibly scarce resource. This loss only highlights the need for tissue and the need for individuals and families to plan ahead on the question of tissue donation.

The Simons Foundation has a discussion of this in: Guest blog: The case for brain donation was written by Autism Science Foundation’s Alison Singer.

She addresses the fact that no one wants to think about being in a position to be a tissue donor, but that advanced planning is critical:

Fortunately, my daughter with autism is alive, happy, energetic (sleepless, in fact) and vivacious. I can’t imagine her any other way. Donating her brain is not something I really want to think about, but as parents of children with autism, we have to. And we have to think about it now, in advance of the period of grief and confusion that follows the loss of a child or other family member.

She refers people to the Autism Tissue Program website. The ATP is run by Autism Speaks .

Autism organizations–Autism Speaks, Autism Science Foundation, Simons Foundation–are all working towards the goal of improving access to tissue samples for research.

ATP has information on donation and registration for donation .

Another place to register is The Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Brain Tissue Bank . You (either as an autistic or a non-autistic relative) can register there .

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