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Klioueva N.M.,Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Rademaker M.C.,Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Dexter D.T.,Imperial College London | Al-Sarraj S.,London Institute of Psychiatry | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Neural Transmission | Year: 2015

Research utilizing human tissue and its removal at post-mortem has given rise to many controversies in the media and posed many dilemmas in the fields of law and ethics. The law often lacks clear instructions and unambiguous guidelines. The absence of a harmonized international legislation with regard to post-mortem medical procedures and donation of tissue and organs contributes to the complexity of the issue. Therefore, within the BrainNet Europe (BNE) consortium, a consortium of 19 European brain banks, we drafted an ethical Code of Conduct for brain banking that covers basic legal rules and bioethical principles involved in brain banking. Sources include laws, regulations and guidelines (Declarations, Conventions, Recommendations, Guidelines and Directives) issued by international key organizations, such as the Council of Europe, European Commission, World Medical Association and World Health Organization. The Code of Conduct addresses fundamental topics as the rights of the persons donating their tissue, the obligations of the brain bank with regard to respect and observance of such rights, informed consent, confidentiality, protection of personal data, collections of human biological material and their management, and transparency and accountability within the organization of a brain bank. The Code of Conduct for brain banking is being adopted by the BNE network prior to being enshrined in official legislation for brain banking in Europe and beyond. © 2015, The Author(s). Source

Monoranu C.M.,University of Wurzburg | Grunblatt E.,University of Zurich | Grunblatt E.,Neurochemistry Laboratory | Apfelbacher M.,University of Wurzburg | And 7 more authors.
Cell and Tissue Banking | Year: 2011

Postmortem brain tissue has been reported to be suitable to delineate regional pattern of possible disturbances underlying epigenetic functionality. However, from many parameters that have been detected in postmortem brain regions it is noteworthy that an effect of postmortem interval (PMI), storage time and premortem parameters should not be underestimated. Our previous investigation revealed that tryptophan (TRP) levels in postmortem brain tissue is affected by PMI and storage time. Since, alteration in TRP levels are assumed to be due to protein degradation, we further investigatedwhether TRPcorrelates to variables such as RNA, proteins and DNA modulators. In addition, we aimed to elucidate whether established postmortem variables may influence epigenetic parameters. These were investigated in well characterized postmortem human brain tissue originating fromthe European Brain Bank consortium II (BNEII). We could confirm previous findings, in which some protein levels alter because of prolonged PMI. Similarly, we demonstrated an influence of increased storage period on TRP levels, which might indicate degradation of proteins. Still not all proteins degrade in a similar manner, therefore a specific analysis for the protein of interest would berecommended. We found that methyltransferase- and acetyltransferase-activities were relatively preserved with PMI and storage duration. In conclusion, preservation of acetyltransferase- and methyltransferaseactivities provides possible evidence of stability for epigenetic studies using postmortem tissue. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010. Source

Alafuzoff I.,Uppsala University | Alafuzoff I.,University of Eastern Finland | Gelpi E.,Neurological Tissue bank of the Biobank | Al-Sarraj S.,London Institute of Psychiatry | And 30 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology | Year: 2012

Here, we summarise the results after carrying out a large survey regarding the assessment of vascular alterations, both vessel changes and vascular lesions in an inter-laboratory setting. In total, 32 neuropathologists from 22 centres, most being members of BrainNet Europe (BNE), participated by filling out a questionnaire with emphasis on assessment of common vascular alterations seen in the brains of aged subjects. A certain level of harmonisation has been reached among BNE members regarding sectioning of the brain, harvesting of brain tissue for histology and staining used when compared to the survey carried out in 2006 by Pantoni and colleagues. The most significant variability was seen regarding the assessment of severity and of clinical significance of vascular alterations. Two strategies have recently been recommended regarding the assessment of vascular alterations in aged and demented subjects. The National Institute on Aging - Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) recommends the assessment of hippocampal sclerosis, vascular brain injury and microvascular lesions in 12 regions. Although this strategy will be easy to follow, the recommendations do not inform how the load of observed alterations should be assessed and when the observed lesions are of significance. Deramecourt and his colleagues recommend an assessment and semiquantitative grading of various pathologies in 4 brain regions. This strategy yielded a total score of 0 to 20 as an estimate of pathology load. It is, however, not clear which score is considered to be of clinical significance. Furthermore, in several BNE trials the semiquantitative assessment has yielded poor agreement rates; an observation that might negatively influence the strategy proposed by Deramecourt and his colleagues. In line with NIA-AA, a dichotomised approach of easily recognisable lesions in a standardised set of brain regions harvested for neuropathological assessment and applying reproducible sampling and staining strategies is recommended by BNE. However, a simple strategy regarding assessment of load of alteration is urgently needed to yield reproducible, and at the same time, comparable results between centres. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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