Brain banking

Some people with neurodegenerative conditions choose to donate brain and spinal cord tissue for research after they die.


  • Cognitive disorders
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Project type

  • Understanding the condition

About the project

The MRC Edinburgh Brain and Tissue Bank is the only brain bank in Scotland.

The Bank collects tissue from people with various illnesses and diseases, including multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, prion disease and dementia. Donated tissue is made available to researchers in the UK and around the world who are working towards finding treatments and cures for these diseases.

The Bank is extremely grateful for all donations, which make an incredibly valuable contribution to research.

MS donor programme

As at April 2019, 64 people with MS had consented to donate their brain tissue to the bank when they die and 6 donations had been received.

Research using these donations has already assisted MS researchers at The University of Edinburgh discover new information about MS. This will help in our search for more treatments and a cure.

Read more in our news article: New research: brain cell differences in people with MS

Comments from patients and families

"I want to make sure everything is in order for my family before I die."

"I've always wanted to travel abroad, so if some of me can go to the States, then that's great!"

"I'm not going to need it where I'm going."

"I'm just going to be burnt anyway, so if you can make use of me then why not!"

"It was really important to him that something good would come out of his death."

"This is so important for finding a cure for MS so others don't have to suffer the way he did."

More information

Edinburgh Brain and Tissue Bank webpages on the University of Edinburgh website


The Edinburgh Brain Bank is funded by the UK Medical Research Council and is supported by Alzheimer’s Scotland, MND Scotland and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.



Recruiting now


Tracey Millar
Research Nurse Manager
0131 465 9522

Eligibility criteria

If you have one of the conditions listed, please discuss this with your specialist nurse or get in touch with us directly.