Partner Research Centers:


Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research

For Patients

CNDR partners with our clinical colleagues across Penn. If you are a patient seeking care, please contact our colleagues at:

How can you help with Research?

Clinical Trials

CNDR clinical partners are conducting a variety of investigational clinical trials that are seeking participants. Ask your physician about clinical trials, or search for active trials at Penn Medicine.

Post-Mortem Brain Donation to the Penn Brain Bank

The Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) encourages all families of patients affected by an aging related neurodegenerative disorder – be it Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or frontotemporal disease or other related disorders – to consider donation of nervous system tissues (i..e brain and spinal cord) from decedents for autopsy establishment of the exact cause of the patient's cognitive or motor impairments.

At Penn, the Penn Alzheimer's Disease Center (ADC), the Penn Udall Center for Parkinson's Researchand the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) maintain a brain and tissue bank, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that contains human brain samples obtained from Penn patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and other related neurodegenerative dementias and movement disorders. The Penn Brain Bank is managed by Terry Schuck.

Currently, the Penn Brain Bank accepts donations only from those seeing a Penn physician or collaborator, as required by NIH grants which require resources committed to our autopsy programs be dedicated to decedents who have been enrolled as patients or controls in our research programs. Patients are enrolled as donors through their Penn physicians or through one of the following organizations at Penn:

The Penn Brain Bank serves as a resource for scientists and researchers, providing access to tissue samples that are invaluable in research. Priority is given to researchers working on NIH-funded multi-component projects being conducted here at Penn or in collaboration with researchers here at Penn. Wherever possible, requests from outside researchers and scientists are honored.

Where Else Can I Make a Brain Donation?

With over 40 NIH-supported brain banks across the U.S., the "Penn Brain Bank" is not alone in providing researchers with access to specimens for further analysis and study or accepting donations. For a state by state listing of brain banks, visit www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/research/parkinsonsweb/brainbanks.htm.

What are the various diseases that CNDR is investigating?

Neurodegenerative diseases share many common pathways and mechanisms, making the coordinated study of these diseases both necessary and highly productive. The components of CNDR research programs are linked into a unified conceptual framework by the hypothesis that "diverse neurodegenerative diseases arise from 'fatal attractions' of brain proteins."

Here are brief explanations of the major diseases being explored at CNDR.

Disease Approach