The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

The Gift of Autopsy

The need  

Autopsy is the definitive method of diagnosis for many neurological illnesses including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Families value autopsy information because it ensures accurate diagnosis, helps determine the role of heredity and helps explain the patient's illness. We learn as much from the brains of healthy people as we do from those with disease. The knowledge gained through the Brain Bank Program is of immeasurable value to researchers.

A source for research 

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine has established through the Einstein Aging Study(E.A.S.) a Brain Bank Program as a means of studying brain and nervous system tissue from individuals who have been evaluated clinically. Examination of brain tissue is especially valuable to researchers if a person has been in our Clinical Program. Then we can study the relationship between changes in cognitive function during life and the brain after death.

  Making a decision 

Although there is no easy answer on how to reach a decision about brain autopsy, this website may provide the information you need. Keep in mind that the best decision is made well in advance with full consideration for the study participant and family. You are free to change your mind at any time and withdraw your consent.


If you decided to learn more about the Brain Bank Program, the next step is to contact the Einstein Aging Study at 718-430-3888.

Clinical Program Visits 

After enrolling in the Brain Bank Program, individuals are usually assessed every 12 months. By comparing the physical and mental state of the individual over time with brain tissue after death, tremendous important knowledge can be gained about neurological diseases.

Ongoing evaluations are the key to a successful brain bank program. There is no fee for the evaluation. If visiting our clinic becomes impossible, with permission, we gather information through family members, medical records and home (or nursing home) visits.

Role of personal physician 

The Clinical Program visit is not a substitute for regular health care. Study participation will not interfere with the role of the personal physician in on-going assessment and care.


The results of the Clinical Program visits and all information pertaining to the individuals participating in the Brain Bank Program will be kept confidential within the Department of Neurology. We will communicate out ongoing findings to your doctor upon your request.

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