Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Neuropathology Laboratory (Brain Bank)
Many of us are organ donors. Our driver's license conveniently notes this with a small heart symbol in the corner. This small act saves lives. But did you know that this designation does not cover all of your organs?
Brain tissue research is a critical component to finding cures for such devastating diseases as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Stroke.
How do I become a brain donor?
1. Complete and return the Brain Donor Registration Form by choosing ONE of the following options:
a) Submitting the Brain Donor Online Registration Form electronically by clicking here or
b) Downloading the Brain Donor Registration Form as a PDF here and returning by mail, fax, or email:
Carroll A. Campbell Neuropathology Lab
173 Ashley Ave.
Charleston, SC 29425
2. Upon receipt of the Brain Donor Registration Form, we will send you a wallet-sized Donor Card.
3. Have a family discussion to inform your loved ones about your decision to become a donor, as well as your physician.
4. At the time of impending death, please call 843-494-1578 or page a staff member at 843-297-0652 to notify our staff so arrangements can be made.
5. A Post-Mortem Consent Form must be completed by the legal next-of-kin after death in order to authorize the removal of the brain.
This form must be presented at the time of autopsy. The family must also authorize the release of medical records to the Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Neuropathology Laboratory.
As our understanding of the aging brain advances, it has become clear that sensory organs controlling vision and hearing are affected by neurological disorders, including many forms of dementia. Therefore, we believe it is important to study these associated structures, in parallel with brain tissue, in hopes of forming a more complete understanding of these devastating diseases. It is for this reason, we ask donors to consider including the structures closely associated with the brain, which are:
- Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) - surrounding the brain and blood
- Temporal Bone - a small part of bone encasing the brain, which also contains the structures of the inner ear that control hearing and balance
- Eyes & Aqueous and Vitreous Humor - eyes and the fluid inside the eyes, which are closely associated with many neurological disorders, including several forms of dementia
The final consent form, that is completed by the next of kin at the time of death, will have the following two donation options:
1. Brain and associated structures: includes blood sample, CSF, ocular fluid, eyes, and portion of temporal bones
2. Brain and fluid only: includes blood sample, CSF, ocular fluid
We encourage donors and their families to discuss these options ahead of time to aid in making this decision.