Brains for Dementia Research provides a range of tissue and data to support your dementia research needs:

  • Post-mortem brain tissue (fixed and frozen)
  • Tissue derivatives (including DNA, RNA and CSF)
  • Stem cells (fibroblast-like and iPSC lines)
  • Neuropathology data
  • Other data (history, cognitive assessments and other clinical information).

All Brains for Dementia Research tissue and stem cells are listed on the UK Brain Banks Network database, however you may find it useful to have a preliminary discussion of requirements by contacting either the Coordinating Centre or one of the brain banks.

Brain tissue

To apply for brain tissue, CSF or other derived material, you will need to complete an application form. Each Brain Bank has their own application process, but if you aren’t sure which Brain Bank to apply to for the tissue you need, please contact the Coordinating Centre who will assess the most suitable one for your requirements.

This flow chart lays out the tissue request process.

To apply or enquire about tissue, please contact the relevant brain bank:

Stem cells

To apply for fibroblast-like cell lines or iPSC lines, you will need to complete this application form and submit it to the BDR Coordinating Centre.

This flow chart lays out the stem cell request process.

Other data sets

As well as tissue and stem cells, other data sets are available through BDR. If you are interested in applying for access to samples or datasets, the following flow diagrams may be useful, as the process varies depending on the data you are requesting access to.

Neuropathology data only
Data only

Project approval

In order to approve a project, we require sufficient information about the proposed research that will enable assessment of the validity, methodology, peer review process, funding and contribution the proposed work will make to understanding dementia and developing treatments for the condition. We are very happy to consider pilot studies and to assist first time users. No distinction is made between applications from academic groups and those from commercial organisations