The MS Research Australia Brain Bank has been operating for over eight years across Australia, and has built up a large collection of tissue specifically for use in MS research. Experts in MS identify and classify MS brain lesions in the donated tissue at different disease stages. This carefully classified tissue is then made available for researchers around the world to use to answer research questions about the biology of MS that cannot be resolved in any other way.
An independent MS Research Australia Brain Bank Scientific Advisory Committee review requests to use the tissue in research projects to ensure the proposed use is ethical and scientifically sound. Tissue from the MS Research Australia Brain Bank is being used in a number of projects both in Australia and overseas looking at different aspects of MS pathology and cover a wide range of research areas. Topics include the identification of factors in the brain which promote nerve regeneration and investigation of the cells involved in encouraging myelin repair, to determine why these processes fail in later MS. Other projects are looking at how damage is wrought differently in progressive MS compared to relapsing remitting MS, and the role of genetics in progressive forms of disease. Research projects are also studying the interactions between genetic and environmental factors that could underpin MS onset and progression and looking for corresponding biomarkers to develop safe and simple tests for use in the clinic.
This work would not be possible without the support of people with MS and their families. To find out more about the MS Research Australia Brain Bank, phone 1300 672 265 or visit www.msbrainbank.org.au