Saint Louis University

Alzheimer's disease, the major cause of dementia in later life, affects more than four million Americans. The cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown and there is no known cure.

Saint Louis University's Alzheimer's Disease Brain Bank was established in 1985 in cooperation with the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. The Brain Bank gives family members of Alzheimer's patients the opportunity to obtain a confirmed diagnosis through brain autopsy.

Through this program, families of individuals with either a clinical diagnosis, or those with suspected Alzheimer's disease, grant permission for a brain autopsy to be performed immediately after death. Since there is growing evidence that Alzheimer's disease may have hereditary components, the autopsy can caution patient's relatives of potential problems they themselves may encounter in the future. Just as importantly, knowing that the disease is not present can give a family peace of mind.

The Brain Bank is also a focus for research into many aspects of Alzheimer's disease. It provides brain tissue from Alzheimer's patients and healthy elderly brain donors to investigators who are helping to further the understanding of Alzheimer's disease through research.

For more information on the Brain Bank, call Saint Louis University's Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at (314) 977-4850.