Conditions Affecting the Brain

There are more than 50,000 Singaporeans with various neurological conditions, with a 22% increase from 2013 to 2017. As these numbers are projected to increase due to Singapore’s ageing population, there is an urgent need for donated brain tissue for scientific studies to develop new effective treatments for these conditions. Some of these conditions are described below:


1 Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias

Dementia refers to a group of symptoms consisting of memory loss, impaired judgement, disorientation and behavioural changes, which severely affect daily function. Symptoms of Dementia include:

  • Recent memory loss
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with language
  • Poor or decreased judgement
  • Changes in personality

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Current treatments available for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are only able to treat the symptoms and do not delay or slow down the progression of the condition. Therefore, further research is required to help understand the changes taking place in the brain so that new treatments can be developed.

2 Parkinson’s Disease
3 Stroke
4 Depression
5 Anxiety
6 Schizophrenia

How can you help?

The Brain Bank Singapore has been set up to retrieve and store brain tissue from both patients with brain disorders and healthy individuals who have consented to give this gift for research after death. This is a priceless decision that will help provide a better understanding of how neurological and mental health disorders damage the human brain and aid in the development of new therapeutic treatments for future generations. Current treatments only alleviate symptoms and do not stop disease progression. The health and hopes of future generations rest on discoveries that will be made possible by tissue donation.

Every individual person is unique in their tissue make-up and normal ageing tissues are just as important as tissues affected by neurological conditions, in order to identify the problem and solution accurately through continuous research.

Registering as a Brain Donor

  • Discuss your interest in becoming a donor with your family members and/or legal representative.
  • Arrange to meet with Brain Bank personnel to learn more about brain donation (Contact us).
  • Complete the Informed Consent Form to register as a Brain Donor.

What to do when a registered tissue donor dies

Brain and spinal cord tissues deteriorate very rapidly. We aim to collect tissue within 24 hours of death if possible, but can also accept tissue up to 48 hours after death. But after this point the brain and spinal cord tissue is no longer suitable for research. Since it is vital that we are contacted as soon as possible after death, we would ask you to ensure that your next-of-kin or legal representatives and healthcare professionals looking after you are aware of your wish to donate tissue. The procedure that we follow is described below :

Contact the Brain Bank on the emergency number stated on the Donor card as soon as you can. If your call is not answered please leave a voice message or text us the relevant information. Please include:

  • Your name and contact telephone number
  • The donor’s name and donor card number or the date of birth

If your call or voice/text message is received between 8am - 7pm, Monday-Sunday, the Brain Bank will be in touch within 1 hour of your call. If your call or message is received outside these hours, the Brain Bank will be in touch first thing in the morning the following day.

Inform the donor’s doctor or General Practitioner of their wish to donate and request a Certificate of Cause of death or Death Certificate as soon as possible.

Brain Bank personnel will then arrange for the transportation of the body for brain retrieval. Brain donation will not significantly delay or interfere with your family’s plans for a funeral, cremation, or burial. The brain (and, if consented, other tissues e.g. spinal cord) will be removed in a respectful and careful manner that will not affect the appearance of the face or body. We will keep the next-of-kin informed of the progress of tissue retrieval and ensure that the body is transported back to families as quickly as possible to proceed with the funeral.

Location & Hours
Brain Bank Singapore
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Nanyang Technological University
Clinical Sciences Building (Novena)
11 Mandalay Road
Singapore 308232
Operating Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Study Partners & Collaborators:
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