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A brain donation is a precious gift. Your gifts can make powerful, meaningful, and lasting changes for better diagnosis, research, education, and therapeutics.

The Iowa NeuroBank Core is a non-profit, university research service that provides human specimens for researchers to explore the pathogenesis of human brain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. We support researchers locally, nationally, and internationally. 

As long as you are an active patient of a doctor at the University of Iowa Health Care (UIHC), we can accept your brain donation free of charge.

If you have any questions about brain donations, please call (319) 467-4827 for brain donation inquiries, or email Iowa NeuroBank Staff (

Exclusionary criteria:

  • Excessive delay between donor's death and brain recovery
  • Penetrating injuries to the head
  • Factors indicating that the donor may have prion disease, HIV, Hep B or Hep C positive
  • Prolonged time on a ventilator

Important Note:  The cost of transportation and the funeral director's professional service fees must be borne by the family or estate.

Why Donate Your Brain (someday)?

Brain disorders take a huge toll on the quality of life, including patients and their families. 


Many brain disorders (such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease) can only be diagnosed with certainty by examining the brain after death. Some psychiatric diseases can also cause identifiable changes in the brain. Even in diseases that can be confirmed by genetic or another testing, examination of brain tissue can reveal additional diseases or unexpected effects of a known disease.

Research and Education:

While substantial progress has been made in understanding these disorders with animal models, there are still many unanswered questions to be addressed in human brains. The limited supply of donated tissues is a barrier to progress in understanding these human brain disorders.

Therapeutic and Technology Development:

By increasing the amount of tissue available for research, we will be able to support research, biotech, and pharmaceutical discovery to better understand how to prevent, diagnose, treat and cure human brain disorders.