Normal Control Postmortem Brain Collection

Grant Type
Grant Year
Institution Location
Institution Organization Name
Yale University
Investigators Name
Howe, Christine, PhD

Understanding and treatment of Tourette Syndrome (TS) will rely in part on research that studies the brains of people affected with this disorder. Some of these types of studies can be carried out on living patients, but others need to be done using the brains generously donated by the families of TS patients who have died. In order to find out how brains might be different in people with Tourette Syndrome, we must know what “normal” brains look like. We also need to determine normal values, and the range of normal variation for any number of different tests, measurements, and assays that will be done while studying Tourette Syndrome. Thus, scientists also must study brains from normal individuals in the same way that they investigate TS brains. To eliminate many sources of irrelevant variation, it is best to study normal specimens that are similar to the donated TS brains as closely as possible by matching characteristics such as age, sex, type of preservation, and several other variables. Our project involves the identification and appropriate collection of such normal control brains that will be used for study and comparison to TS affected specimens. Working in close collaboration with the pathologists in our department, we will try to collect as many normal controls at our facility as possible. Some of the specimens will be collected to match TS ones already donated. In anticipation of future donations from families affected by Tourette Syndrome, we will also collect normal brains which do not match currently available brains. This work will all be performed in such a manner so as to prevent interference with the usual neuropathology analysis. Christine L. Howe, Ph.D. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT Award $11,000 Tourette Association of America Inc. – Research Grant Award 1999-2000