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The Netherlands Brain Bank

The NBB has an extensive donor program for brains both with and without brain disease. Currently, more than 4000 living donors with a variety of disorders are registered at the NBB. Due to the 24/7 availability of the NBB and VUmc staff, combined with the fact that the Netherlands is a small country, rapid autopsies with short post-mortem delays of three to ten hours are possible. The tissue is dissected at autopsy and processed according to the diagnosis and to the preferences of the researchers who requested it.

By signing an informed consent form, a donor gives permission for post-mortem brain autopsy and use of their tissue and medical records for research purposes. The informed consent form of the NBB meets all current legal and ethical requirements for brain autopsy, tissue storage and use of tissue and clinical data for scientific research worldwide. 

Autorization may be given in cases where a person is permanently incompetent to make this decision. The permanent mental incapability needs to be confirmed by the treating physician of the patient. In such cases the next of kin or legal representative is allowed to authorize brain donation.

Staff of the Netherlands Brain Bank, more information can be found on their website.