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Donate to Tissue Banks

Posted May 16 2010 12:00am
Obtained from a woman named Cindee and a guy named Mike

People living with MS may hold the key to curing this disease. One way they can make a difference is to arrange to donate their brain and spinal cord tissues when they die. The National MS Society supports three MS tissue banks, which are storage facilities that provide brain and spinal cord tissues to researchers studying multiple sclerosis. These studies generally focus on the pathology of MS — its nature, cause, and effects on the brain — and they are extremely important.

A tissue bank is very close to what it sounds like: an area in a laboratory or medical center where tissue specimens are "deposited" and stored for later "withdrawal" and use.

The MS tissue banks store brain and spinal cord tissues, spinal fluid, and other specimens from persons who had MS during their lifetimes. The banks are often interested in collecting specimens from people who do not have MS, or from family members. These samples are frozen or otherwise preserved very soon after the death of the donor. The banked tissues are carefully catalogued with information about the each donor's medical history.

For those considering donating tissue, planning ahead is essential. Brain tissue must be prepared within hours after death to be of use in research. (This donation need not interfere with funeral arrangements.)

The decision to contribute to this special type of research is most thoughtful, and is truly appreciated by all who are involved in moving toward a world free of MS.

Individuals interested in the possibility of tissue donation can contact these banks:

Click here to read the listings and article from the NMSS website


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