London (Kings College), UK
London Institute of Psychiatry

Participant 09: London Institute of Psychiatry
Department of Clinical Neuropathology
First Floor
Academic Neuroscience Centre
King's College Hospital
Bessemer Road
United Kingdom


Project Leader

Dr. Safa Al-Sarraj
Phone: +44 (20) 7346 1958 
Fax: +44 (20) 7346 1956 
Prof. Dr. Safa Al-Sarraj

Project Staff

Dr. Claire Troakes
Brain bank coordinator 

Dr. Istvan Bodi
Consultant Neuropathologist 

Richard Hudspith
Brain Bank secretary 

Dr. Tibor Hortobagi
Specialist Registrar in neuropathology 

Mrs. Mavis Kibble
Biomedical scientist 

Dr. Andrew King
Consultant Neuropathologist  

Dr. Satomi Maekawa
Postdoctoral Research Fellow 

Institute Presentation

London Brain Bank for Neurodegenerative Diseases

The London Brain Bank for Neurodegenerative Diseases is situated in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. It is part-funded by the Medical Research Council (UK). The mission of the Brain Bank is to provide clinically and neuropathologically well-characterised human brain tissue to the neuroscience community. This involves the systematic and focussed collection of post-mortem material and its subsequent distribution to research groups both nationally and internationally.

The Brain Bank was established in 1989 and initially concentrated on the collection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains. This principally reflected the research needs of a large Neurodegeneration Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) at the Institute investigating the clinical course, epidemiology, neuropathology, biochemistry and molecular genetics of AD. Subsequently, other neurodegenerative disorders including frontotemporal dementias (FTD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), prion diseases and motor neurone disease (MND) have been investigated by researchers at the Institute and patients with these disorders have been assessed prospectively and, in many cases, referred to the Brain Bank for donation. The Brain Bank now has a large archival collection of material from over 1500 fixed cases, and over 500 cases with fresh tissue available from a wide variety of neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions.

The clinical and pathological classification of patients and brain tissue is of the highest importance to the Brain Bank. As such, standardised criteria for the clinical and pathological diagnosis of various degenerative disorders are applied where appropriate. These common standards of categorisation allow for tissue exchange between different centres and multi-centre studies. The Brain Bank adheres firmly to the principle of best practice. Fully informed, written consent for a postmortem examination and removal of tissue for medical research is obtained before death from the patient and/or family. At the time of death, consent is re-affirmed with the family of the patient. Arrangements are made for postmortem examination and brain donation so that these can be undertaken with the minimum of delay. For many biochemical and molecular studies it is important that the tissue is removed, examined, processed, and frozen within a short period of time, preferably within 24 hours.

After microscopic examination and diagnosis, brain tissue is made available to researchers in medical and basic science throughout the United Kingdom and abroad who are engaged in studies to understand the mechanisms underlying AD and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

For further information, please click onto the Webpage link:

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Consortium Participants


Workpackage Structure