(Central News Agency reporter Chen Jieling, Taipei, 5th) The Taiwan Brain Bank was established to donate brains to provide medical research, becoming a new option for Taiwanese people to extend their lives after their death. As a Central News Agency reporter opened the box, National Health Director Situ Huikang described it as a continuation of life. A glorious medical treasure house of life, the last and most important puzzle piece of Taiwan’s medical research.
Q: What is the Taiwan Brain Bank doing?
Many people have heard that blood banks and tissue banks exist for transplant medical needs. The Taiwan Brain Bank not only collects brains, but more importantly, develops treatment strategies and drugs through research. This is the ultimate expectation of many brain donation patients. The Taiwan Brain Bank team shared with a reporter from Central News Agency today that many patients who suffer from incurable diseases will excitedly say that their lives are most meaningful at this moment.
Xie Songcang, chairman of the Taiwan Brain Bank Association and attending physician at the Department of Neurology at National Taiwan University Hospital, said that in the 1980s, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the United States discovered through brain banks that there were fewer acetylcholine neurons in the brains of patients with dementia, which provided the necessary services for dementia patients. It is a very important drug so far.
In addition, Li Liren, executive supervisor of the Taiwan Brain Bank Association, said that even if the brain bank has not yet assisted in the development of drugs, the brain bank still has the function of improving diagnosis. Compared with pre-mortem pathological diagnosis and post-mortem diagnosis, the brain bank can give feedback to neurologists and increase the accuracy of diagnosis. According to a study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as many as 40% of the gap between pre-mortem clinical diagnosis and post-mortem pathological diagnosis is inconsistent, and 14% is completely different.
Q: Why does Taiwan need to have its own brain bank?
Xie Songcang said that although Taiwan can apply for “donated brains” for medical research through international brain banks, such as the American brain bank. However, Taiwan still needs its own brain bank because Taiwanese people often have special genotypes of diseases that cannot be obtained through brain banks in other countries, such as amyloid disease, Wilson’s disease, and small vessel disease, which all have special genotypes in Taiwan. Genotype, “This is a disease that only we can solve.”
The Taiwan Brain Bank hopes to combine new technologies and conduct cross-field research, respect the love of brain donors, and comfort their families. It will also hold regular teaching activities and train new young researchers. In the future, it plans to become a permanent unit with fixed funds and Manpower. As a platform to share Taiwan’s “brain donation”, the ultimate goal is to have the opportunity to expand internationally in the future.
Q: How are donated brains preserved?
The “Taiwan Brain Bank” within the National Taiwan University School of Medicine can store 150 donated brains. Li Liren said that more can be stored in the second phase next door. Donated brains can be stored in a cryogenic freezer at minus 18 degrees Celsius or in liquid nitrogen at over minus 100 degrees Celsius. It is estimated that the earliest internationally established brain bank stores approximately 8,500 brains. The storage period of donated brains is as long as 40 or 50 years, waiting for the time for research to mature. Take out and use.
Li Liren said that when the donor dies, the team will take the high-speed train and other transportation to go to the medical institution to retrieve the donated brain, or send the donor to a medical institution where the brain can be retrieved. After the brain leaves the human body, it must race against time to reduce the risk of brain protein changes. The sectioning must be completed within 2 hours.
In the brain bank laboratory, researchers will divide the brain into two parts and place them on ice cubes for slicing. One part is based on different areas. Use a double-edged brain knife to slice the brain into small pieces, about 0.5 cm to 1 cm. , quickly frozen to provide academic research, and the other part was placed in formalin for pathological sectioning and staining.
Q: Who can choose to donate a brain?
Brain banks are important resources for promoting the development of neuromedical research. The establishment of the “Taiwan Brain Bank” hopes to collect brains, spinal cords, cerebrospinal fluid, blood and other related neural tissues. The targets include patients with brain diseases and general healthy people. Perform pathological tissue sections to identify the mechanisms of disease lesions, increasing the likelihood of developing effective cures for brain diseases that affect millions of people.
People who are willing to donate brain and nerve tissue can go to the official website of the Taiwan Brain Bank Association to inquire. The general teacher’s brain can also choose not to be cremated, and the donated brain can be retained and stored in a brain bank to facilitate future research. Li Liren reminded that not everyone’s brain and nerve tissue can be put into the brain bank. Brain-dead donors cannot donate, and patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease will not be accepted to avoid contamination of the equipment and the risk of infection. (Editor: Zhang Yajing) 1121105