The Florida Brain Bank & ADRC

The Florida Brain Bank research program is dedicated to the coordination of brain tissue donations for critical scientific research that is aimed at ultimately curing Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Furthering an ongoing scientific understanding of dementia-related illnesses and contributing to the overall improvement of diagnosing and treating dementia is integral to the mission of the Florida Brain Bank program, one of the few state-run autopsy/medical research initiatives in the nation.

Through ADRC’s partnership with Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, we have become THE major contributor to the Florida Brain Bank program (1 of only 2 program entry points in the entire state) via the volume of donor enrollment and brain tissue coordinated. Our autopsy coordination and facilitation of brain tissue donations spreads across 22 counties throughout Central & North Florida.

What Does the Brain Bank Provide?

Paired with ADRC’s support and one-on-one relationship with the caregiver and donor, the Brain Bank program helps provide hope for the family. Through the neuropathology report that is generated through the Brain Bank program, the family is able to obtain a definitive diagnosis of whether their loved one truly had Alzheimer’s disease or whether it was something else.

Currently, a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can only be confirmed with 100% accuracy through an autopsy. It is also important to note that the post mortem examination of the brain will not determine the cause of death, but solely the diagnosis of the type of dementia.

The comprehensive neuropathology report, reviewed with the family by ADRC , serves as a valuable tool.  Working with ADRC and the Brain Bank better prepares the caregiver for the future and can motivate them to understand the role lifestyle choice may have in reducing the potential risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Knowing that their loved one has made a significant contribution to the body of research seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s disease helps to provide closure during the difficult time of loss.  The family can find comfort in knowing that the most precious gift given by their loved one has gone on to help countless others.

Enrolling in the Florida Brain Bank

Registration takes some time (plan on 6-8 weeks). All participants must be registered prior to time of death and must reside in the state of Florida at time of enrollment and of death.

Basic criteria for enrollment includes the requirement for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, or any other age related dementia, that has been in place for a minimum of 12 months. Additionally, a complete neuropsychological evaluation, inclusive of brain imaging, needs to have been done. The diagnosis must have been made by a neurologist, psychiatrist, or medical director of an ADI-funded memory disorder clinic. A local funeral home that will be responsible for transportation must be selected prior to enrollment.

To learn more about the program and how to register, contact Edith Gendron at 407-843-1910, ext. 308.

The State of Florida Brain Bank Research Program is funded in part by the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) through the Department of Elder Affairs, in conjunction with Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, FL.