COVID-19 Updates

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Brain Autopsy Program

*Autopsy Process Updates*

We are still honoring brain donations for ADRC participants. Special COVID precautions are being taken and continue to modify our processes. Please check back for updates as we streamline processes for our valued participants.

To report the passing of an enrolled participant, call to activate the autopsy process.

  • During regular business hours M-F, call the ADRC Autopsy Coordinator: 619-354-6764
  • On weekends and after hours, you should call the UCSD operator to reach the doctor on call. The number is 619-543-6737. Tell the operator that you are calling about a brain autopsy for the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Longitudinal Study and Dr. Rissman is the doctor on call.

IF you are an enrolled participant and want to speak with the ADRC autopsy coordinator in anticipation of a participant's passing or for more information about our procedures and processes. You can call the ADRC Autopsy Coordinator at 619-354-6764 during regular business hours.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------One donated brain can make a huge impact, potentially providing information for hundreds of research studies to better understand Alzheimer's and dementia. Our team of neuropathologists maintains a state-of-the-art Alzheimer's brain bank with well-characterized cases from our longitudinal study cohort. Many neurodegenerative diseases can only be conclusively made by examining post-mortem brain tissue to identify the characteristic pathological proteins. Autopsy provides valuable information that can educate and enlighten families, physicians, and researchers, who are working to discover more reliable tests for ADRD. The autopsy results of participants who have been followed over time at our SMADRC are especially valuable because, in conjunction with the substantial treatment and care histories that are collected, researchers can obtain information essential to the search for effective treatments for AD. This research will contribute to our eventual understanding of the chain of events that leads to AD and related dementias.

Participants and families have many questions about our brain autopsy program and processes. We have created a new educational packet to clearly communicate about this process and to provide information and resources for proactive planning. Please click here to view and print the packet in English. Spanish translation coming soon!

The National Institute on Aging has also created several resources to provide education about brain donation for ADRD research. En Espanol.

Other related and helpful links (also found in the packet):

NIA's Legal and Financial Planning for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease

UCSD Body Donation Program