Brain donation is a gift to research and families that provides clinical answers and more insight into the disease that affected the person.

Below is a list of our most asked questions regarding brain donation to help you and your family with this decision.

The brain donation process occurs in seven steps from enrolling into the program to the actual donation.

Step 1. Call 210-450-8423 or email the Biggs Institute Brain Bank at BrainBank@uthscsa.edu to inform us of your intent to donate.

Step 2. Complete our questionnaire and consent form. For instructions on how to digitally fill in a PDF form, click here.

Step 3. Designate a family member or other representative to contact the Biggs Institute at the time of death. When the time comes to donate, call the 24/7 donation phone line at 210-258-4348.
It is preferred that the Institute is contacted when death seems imminent or within an hour of death.

Step 4. Tissue removal is performed by a professional at the hospital or at the funeral home selected by the family.

Step 5. The autopsy is performed and the tissue is stored in a carefully controlled setting.

Step 6. Family or other designated recipients are notified with the results of the brain autopsy. (This may take up to a year.)

Step 7. Brain tissue is available to qualified scientists at the Biggs Institute Brain Bank and across the country for critical research.

Brain donation comes at no cost to your family.

Our team at the Biggs Institute will work with family members to make all necessary arrangements for transportation and donation.

Brain donation does not affect or delay funeral arrangements.

Removal is performed carefully and respectfully by an experienced professional and does not interfere with plans for open casket viewing or cremation.

According to the National Institute on Aging, most religions view organ donation as valuable to society and believe that donating an organ is a personal decision.

For questions that are specific to your faith, we encourage you to contact a leader in your religion directly.

If for any reason you feel brain donation is not right for you or your family, call us at 210-258-4348 to cancel your donation at any time.

We are here to help you and your family in this decision.

For more information, contact us at

210-450-8423 or BrainBank@uthscsa.edu.