The South Australian Brain Bank was established in 1986 by Prof William Blessing, Senior Consultant Neurologist (FMC), NH&MRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Professor of Medicine and Human Physiology (Flinders University); and Prof Peter Blumbergs, AO, Senior Consultant Neuropathologist, IMVS/SA Pathology, RAH, FMC, QEH and Adelaide University, to support research into neurological diseases. In 1993, South Australia joined with the other states to form the Australian Brain Bank Network.
Initially established as a ‘Parkinson’s Disease’ Brain Bank, it was soon evident that there was a need for a repository for research into other neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, and with funding from the NH&MRC (1993-2014), the SA Brain Bank was able to expand its collection to accept other disease categories.
The SA Brain Bank has successfully established:
> A Tissue Donor Program for people to consent to donate their neurological tissues to the Brain Bank after their death.
> Links with internationally recognized research groups utilizing human brain and spinal cord tissues.
> A resource available to facilitate higher degree studies.
> Links with clinical specialists, pathologists, allied health professionals, patient support groups and educational forums to facilitate greater understanding of disease processes.
> An invaluable resource of tissues representing more than 20 neurological and psychiatric disorders, including extremely rare pathologies.
Research into a wide range of diseases of the nervous system, including Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple System Atrophy, Stroke, Motor Neuron Disease, Lewy Body Disease, Frontotemporal and Familial Dementias has been enabled by this resource. Since its inception, the growth in the number of brain donations, research projects supported and publications generated has exceeded expectations.