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Accelerating ME/CFS Research Through Brain Donation

So often, people with ME/CFS are told to “get over it” since “it’s all in your head.” While this is devastatingly inaccurate, there is an unintended glimmer of truth here – the brain plays an important role in ME/CFS. According to Research Director Suzanne Vernon, “The brain is the command and control center. There is now a solid body of evidence showing the brain is inflamed in ME/CFS patients. This is known as neuroinflammation.” As research on the brain’s role in ME/CFS accelerates, there is an increasingly urgent demand for the best minds science has to offer. Specifically, your mind.

Brain donation fills a critical need for postmortem brain tissue, which currently constitutes science’s only way to study brain involvement in ME/CFS. As Suzanne Vernon explains, “There are many diseases that involve the brain, and discoveries about these diseases were made using postmortem brain tissue.” Therefore, this research creates a key lifeline that allows biomedical researchers to advance the study and treatments for ME/CFS and FM, as well as autism, dementia, and a wide host of other impairments.

That is why the Brain Donor Project was established, with the mission to “increase brain donation to advance science, leading to the treatment and cure of neurological, neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.” It achieves this with a two-fold approach: to increase awareness and to simplify the process of brain donation. The Brain Donor Project collects donations and sends them to the NeuroBioBank of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a program that first collects and stores brains, then reviews requests for brain tissue and disseminates it to biomedical researchers across the country.

While all brains are welcome, brain donors with ME/CFS and FM are especially needed. Brains with these diseases are in short supply, but they play a vital role in enabling a wider audience of national scientists and researchers to advance ME/CFS research as it relates to the brain.

We encourage all interested parties to consider learning more about brain donation from the Brain Donor Project and the NeuroBioBank.

Bateman Horne Center is steadfast in our dedication to all who suffer from this devastating and debilitating illness. We envision a world where patients with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are readily diagnosed, effectively treated, and widely met with empathy and understanding. Consider supporting BHC today.