Thousands of people each year are diagnosed with devastating
diseases or injuries of the nervous system. For most of these
persons there is very little that can be done to treat or
cure them because the level of scientific understanding of
their diseases and injuries is not sufficiently high.
These diseases and injuries include: chromosomal disorders,
metabolic disorders, drowning, traumatic brain injury, severe
brain infections, brain cancer, neuromuscular disorders, developmental
brain disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, and autism.
Cures and treatments will be found only with continued and
dedicated research. The National Human Neural Stem Cell Resource
is funded by the CHOC Foundation for the expressed goal of
advancing meaningful research in these nervous system diseases
The Resource serves the critical purpose of collecting and
preserving human nervous tissues so that neural stem cells
can be grown and distributed to qualified scientific investigators
dedicated to improving our understanding, care, or treatment
of these nervous system diseases and injuries. The Resource
also collaborates with all other major tissue banks so that
no tissues are wasted.
Human tissues obtained after death from infants, children,
and young and aged adults, especially those afflicted with
diseases and injuries of the nervous system, are the most
needed resource for medical breakthroughs. By examining these
tissues and comparing the unaffected with the affected or
comparing different age groups, sexes, etc., scientists will
begin to answer complex questions about the nature of these
diseases. And as answers unfold, so will deeper understanding,
offering hope to the future lives of all afflicted individuals
and their families.
The Resource reaches out to individuals and organizations
across the United States to encourage tissue donation, a commitment
that in many cases must be made by a parent, guardian, or
relative of the person from whom the tissue is to be taken.
For some, this may be difficult to consider in light of the
emotional stress that they have already undergone. But for
others, this commitment may offer a sense of purpose; there
may be comfort in knowing that the quest for medical understanding
of these nervous system diseases or injuries can progress.