The Stanley Foundation Brain Bank: A Progress Report



M.J. Webster*,

M.B. Knable, E.F. Torrey. Stanley Foundation Research Programs,

Bethesda, Maryland

One major factor limiting

research into the neuropathology of mental illness has been the

lack of high quality, well characterized postmortem brain tissue.

To remedy this situation, the Stanley Foundation started a brain

bank in 1994. To date 250 specimens have been collected and

include 71 with schizophrenia, 48 with manic depressive illness,

44 with severe depression and 47 normal controls. From the 250

specimens a matched collection with 15 specimens in each

diagnostic group has been established. The groups have been

matched for age, sex, race, PMI and quality of mRNA. Tissue

specimens from the consortium have been made available to 50

laboratories around the world. One hemisphere from each brain is

fixed in formalin and the other is fresh frozen. Areas of

interest in most demand are sectioned and sent to laboratories

mounted on slides. Other areas are sent as 0.5.1gm blocks. To

date we have sent 840 fixed blocks, 2,460 frozen blocks, 8,100

fixed sections and 50,280 frozen sections from the Consortium.