Myongji Hospital selected to run 'dementia brain bank'
Myongji Hospital has been designated to operate “dementia brain bank” as the fourth such institution in Korea. (Myongji)
Myongji Hospital said that the Ministry of Health and Welfare has selected its brain bank to play a pivotal role in the government's dementia project by identifying the cause through brain autopsies and developing treatments.
With the ministry's designation, Myongji has become the fourth Korean hospital, following Samsung Medical Center, Seoul National University Hospital, and Pusan National University Hospital, to become a government-designated dementia brain bank.
The dementia brain bank establishes the dementia research infrastructure by registering brain donations, collects and manages dementia research, brain tissue, and clinical resources, and conducts dementia-related studies using such data.
Myongji Hospital launched the brain bank in June last year to support research to discover the mechanism of dementia, improve treatment methods, and develop drugs by donating post-mortem brain tissue from patients with various brain diseases, including degenerative brain diseases and their families, the hospital said.
As the hospital's brain bank received a government designation in just nine months of its establishment, the hospital plans to expand autopsy rooms and related facilities during this month and kick off a full-fledged business, it added.
The hospital aims to contribute to the vitalization of dementia research in the country through close cooperation with the dementia brain bank consultative network, including brain banks at other hospitals.
"Although the diagnosis of dementia through brain autopsies has already become common abroad, research has been lagging due to cultural factors that place importance on burial rituals in Korea," said Professor Han Hyun-jung, head of Myongji Hospital's brain bank. "When we make a post-mortem diagnosis through a brain autopsy, the hospital can predict and prevent the possibility of dementia in the remaining family members can in advance."
The bank can also use donated brain tissue for developing dementia-related treatments, Han added.
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