£1.5 million investment in Parkinson’s UK Brain Bank

We're investing £1.5 million over 5 years in our Brain Bank, powering new research to understand more about Parkinson's.

The new digital brain bank

As well as supporting the vital ongoing activities of the Brain Bank, this investment will fund some ambitious new projects, including building a 'digital brain bank' complete with virtual reality interface.

The digital brain bank will give researchers access to a large library of images of donated brain tissue that can be studied indefinitely. It will also incorporate a 3D interactive section that will allow people to explore the virtual brain.

Virtual visits will enable potential donors in particular to understand the purpose of the brain bank, how it operates, and what happens to brains once donated, helping them make fully informed decisions.

What is the Parkinson's UK Brain Bank? 

The Parkinson's UK Brain Bank, based at Imperial College London, is the world's only brain bank solely dedicated to Parkinson's research. It collects precious tissue from people with and without Parkinson's after death who have decided to leave their brains to research. The tissue is supplied to researchers studying Parkinson's all over the world, increasing our understanding of what exactly goes wrong in the condition.

What it means for research

The new digital initiatives at the Brain Bank will improve sharing and storing of brain tissue samples meaning each individual brain can be used more extensively, benefiting future projects as well as current ones. 

Professor David Dexter, Deputy Director of Research at Parkinson's UK, said: 

"The Parkinson's UK Brain Bank has played a vital role in advancing our understanding of Parkinson's so far. Through these new technological initiatives, we will be able to expand the reach and impact of the bank, and enable the best researchers from across the world to study the samples.

"This holds huge potential for speeding up access to better treatments and ultimately a cure for the 145,000 people with Parkinson's in the UK."

Find out more about the Parkinson's UK Brain Bank

The Brain Bank supplies brain tissue to researchers studying Parkinson's all over the world. This research will help find better treatments and a cure for people affected by Parkinson's.