Neurological tissue banks are collections of brain and other neurological tissue samples from healthy donors or donors affected by a neurological or mental illness. Banks of the brain are useful in the genomic and proteomic analysis of neuropsychiatric diseases.
The Sant Joan de Déu Neurological Tissue Bank was created in 2004 and is an archive of tissue samples from donors affected by mental illness. The number of donors is currently 110. This brain bank opens the door to research on psychiatric patients on comorbidity between mental and neurological diseases, as well as the possible role of treatments in their lifestyle and cardiovascular diseases.
The Bank's main function is to manage and store the brain samples of donors with psychiatric illness.
The Bank team is made up of Dr Alfonso Monje (Bank coordinator), Dr Mercedes Roca (psychiatrist), Dr Juan Medina (psychiatrist), Dr Joan Costa (family doctor), Adriana Berengueras (administrative and laboratory technician) and Anna Escanilla (neuropsychologist).
The brains obtained from donors go through an established circuit that seeks to achieve maximum scientific performance. The right hemisphere is processed in Pathological Anatomy for the diagnosis of possible vascular, neurodegenerative diseases, etc. It is then stored sectioned into paraformaldehyde and paraffin.
Currently, only patients with a psychiatric disorder admitted to long-term units of the San Juan de Déu Health Park can be donors of the Bank. The growth of the Bank will tell us if we open donations to the community and healthy people.
The Bank of Neurological Tissues joins the State Network of Hospital Biobanks.
Recently, the Bank of Neurological Tissues of the Health Park and the Foundation for Research and Teaching Sant Joan de Déu has been accepted as a research project for the Thematic Networks of Cooperative Health Research (RETICS), promoted by the Secretary of State for Research and the Carlos III Health Institute.