Despite great advances in genetics and molecular biology, many aspects of research on diseases affecting the brain, including Parkinson’s, still depend on actual human brain tissue for study. How do researchers get these brains for study? They need you to become a brain donor! It is important for people with neurological diseases to donate their brains after death, but healthy brains are also needed for comparison. Brain retrieval must occur very quickly to be useful, so advance planning is essential. Tish Hevel, founder and CEO of the Brain Donation Project, explains how to become a brain donor, and she dispels some misperceptions about the subject.
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.
About This Episode
Released: February 27, 2018
Ms. Hevel is founder and CEO of The Brain Donor Project, an innovative not-for-profit that exclusively supports the NeuroBioBank of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by raising awareness of the critical need for donated brain tissue and by simplifying the process to donate. Since its launch in late 2016, more than 1,300 people have signed up to become brain donors, representing all 50 states and more than 60 categories of brain diseases and disorders. Ms. Hevel began her career as a journalist, managing television newsrooms in Cincinnati, Dayton and Detroit. She later developed a communications consultancy providing strategy, content development, media coaching and relations, executive briefings, speech writing and other PR services. Her work included a month-long assignment in London on behalf of a worldwide sponsor at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She also served as Chief Communications Officer for a 42-county region of the American Red Cross. She is a mother of two sons and one dog and lives in Liberty Township, Ohio.