Apr 12, 2016 - 07:58 AM
The decision to donate one’s body or brain to science is a very personal one, and I commend you and your husband for considering it at all. The first patient, first person that I ever laid my hands on as a physician was a cadaver in anatomy class, and all of the cadavers were voluntarily donated. To this day I am so grateful and honored to have had that experience. It made me a better doctor technically, but my cadaver also taught me about altruism, an important trait for physicians to have and to share as they care for others and help patients through difficult times.
When thinking about an anatomical gift specifically for Parkinson’s Research, start with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation website (PDF.org), which gives an overview of the process, key questions you need to ask, and also provides contact information for programs in several states. If you want to stay local, you can ask your neurologist about local centers for the study of Parkinson’s or movement disorders. If there is a university medical school in your area, researchers who work on Parkinson’s Disease there may also be able to point you in the right direction.
This is a very noble gift you and your husband are considering. Research on affected brains will surely help us in the drive to one day prevent and/or treat this difficult disease.