The Donation Program aims to recruit people who decide to donate their brain and other biological material (blood, cerebrospinal fluid) for scientific research purposes. Both neurologically ill people (Alzheimer's or other neurodegenerative diseases) and healthy people can join the donation program. For logistical and organizational reasons, reside within the Lombardy Region and at a distance not exceeding 50 kilometers from our headquarters. It is necessary for research that even healthy people (without neurological diseases) donate their brains. For scientists it is essential to understand the anatomical and functional aspect of the healthy brain (called "control") and then compare it with diseased brains, in fact only in this way it is possible to discover which are the alterations that occur normally with age and which are due to disease. And only in this way it is possible to highlight what are the mechanisms that lead to certain diseases of the brain and find a cure. Very important is also the study of very elderly subjects with an evident mental lucidity in order to reveal the "secret" and discover what are the protective factors for brain aging.
Why join the Donation Program
Brain donation is beneficial to both the donor's family and researchers. An autopsy and neuropathological examination can confirm the clinical diagnosis of the neurological disease from which the donor is suffering. Diagnostic confirmation allows the family to conclude the care pathway for their loved one and provides important medical information to bring back during the family history to future medical interviews. In addition, in some types of dementia there is a familiarity due to certain genetic factors so that the disease of the donor had already presented itself in his ancestors and may recur in his descendants. Analysis of biological samples from donors with familial dementia could help discover the cause and find a cure for future generations. At the same time, the diagnostic confirmation of neurological diseases allows a more accurate epidemiological registry by the Institutions (Ministry of Health, Regions) that are in charge of funding and organizing the care of patients and subsidizing research. Donating one's own brain helps scientific research to discover the treatment of neurological diseases, today incurable, and opens a way of hope for future generations.
What being a donor entails
Being a donor does not entail any financial expenses, neither now nor ever. By becoming a donor, you will be able to take advantage of a free blood test and a free neuropsychological evaluation, and you will be able to participate free of charge in recreational events or scientific information organized by the Golgi Cenci Foundation. The identity and all the information received by the donor will be strictly confidential. And if one day the donor should change his mind, he can, by filling in a form, cancel himself from the list of donors without giving any explanation.