FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I donate my brain and be an organ donor?
Yes, you can. Registering to donate your brain will not invalidate your registration to donate your organs – you do, however, need to register with the NHSBT separately, as they are a different organisation.
What does GBIRG do?
Our work is directed towards understanding how brain injuries might lead to lifelong degenerative brain disease, including dementia, in some people. In the future we hope to understand why this might happen, how to detect it in life and, most importantly, how we might prevent or treat it. The only way we can currently diagnose the particular dementia associated with brain injury is at post-mortem. We therefore rely on donated brain tissue from people like you to further our research and help to improve outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI). We are not a clinical service.
I asked to sign up for brain donation, but the form I received in the post has options for more than just the brain – why is this?
When you provide us with your address, you will receive some information as well as a form; this is a standard NHS form meaning that it is used in many different departments and therefore uses generalised language, but rest assured that when you send the completed form back to us you are signing up for brain donation only.
Why do I need to complete this form?
The form registers your interest in brain donation and has the added benefit of having your GP/clinical practitioner’s signature, making the process much easier when it comes to the donation. Please note that it is simply a registration form and in the event of your passing, your next of kin will still have to agree for the donation to take place. We therefore highly recommend that you have a conversation with your next of kin to express your wishes to donate your brain so that they know when the time comes.
Where can I find more information on traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
We recommend getting in touch with Headway, an organisation which specialises in helping people who have experienced head injury, and providing a helpline which you can call to ask for any recommendations regarding diagnosis and/or treatment: