Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sign up?
Making the decision to commit to brain and tissue donation is an important one, and loved ones should always be involved in the conversation. To learn more about our brain and tissue donation program, please contact our Community Engagement Manager, Tineciaa Harris, MSPH, at (615) 875-3175 or firstname.lastname@example.org. During the registration process, the Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimer's Center will help determine whether brain donation is right for you.
How does the donation work?
After signing up for the brain and tissue donation program, your loved ones will receive a dedicated cell phone number to call when the time comes to donate. It is important that the call be made within the first hour of passing or before if it is known that passing is imminent. A representative from our Center will arrive and respectfully collect the brain and tissue donation with the upmost care.
What tissues will you remove?
The entire brain will be removed.
Can I still have an open casket funeral?
Yes, brain and tissue are carefully collected during the donation process, so no alterations will be necessary to your preferred funeral arrangements.
What information will my family receive?
Your family will receive a pathology report with information about evidence of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. This information can be especially helpful for confirming a medical diagnosis when memory problems are present before death. Even when memory problems are not present, there are often Alzheimer’s and related diseases developing in the brain. That information can add value to your loved ones’ knowledge of their family medical history.
Can I change my mind?
Yes, your participation is completely voluntary. You can change your mind at any point.
What impact will my donation have?
Examining the brain under a microscope is the only way to confirm Alzheimer’s or other brain diseases, and these samples are critical to understanding the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Your contribution to science will help future generations avoid the extraordinary burden of Alzheimer’s disease by advancing important discoveries.