Brains for Dementia Research

What is BDR?
Brains for dementia research (BDR) is more than a tissue bank, BDR is a network of five UK-based brain banks. In total over 3000 people have been recruited to BDR and include those living with mild cognitive impairment or a diagnosis of dementia and healthy volunteers all of whom take part in continued assessments prior to brain donation.

What material is available through the BDR?
BDR is a hugely valuable resource for dementia researchers allowing them to investigate the pathology and underlying mechanisms of dementia using brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, derived material as well as a range of data sets. BDR provides researchers with gold-standard human brain tissue along with comprehensive neuropathological and clinical data to support their studies. Further, UK-based studies using BDR are covered by our ‘generic approval’, meaning studies can proceed without requiring their own ethical approval.

Accessing tissue through the BDR
Applying for samples or data from BDR is straightforward and researchers from both academia and industry worldwide can request access. Please contact the coordinating centre ( or search the full list of BDR tissue available on the UK Brain Banks Network. Researchers can then apply using the form for the appropriate brain bank(s). Applications will be assessed through a peer review process. This flow chart illustrates the process.

For further information please visit or follow BDR on twitter at @brains4dementia.