Brain Donations

For urgent CTE brain donation and brain autopsy matters, please call the BU CTE Center’s 24/7 voicemail/pager at 617-992-0615 as soon as possible.

For general brain donation inquiries, please see here:

First of all we are sorry you may have the need to read this. We know too well the tragedy of a life lost. Sadly we are not alone. Many families in this country are dealing with the loss of a loved one as a result of CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) or RHI (repeated head impacts). In most cases the families are totally unaware that the death is associated with CTE or RHI because it is a relatively new discovery in science and can only be clearly diagnosed post-mortem. The symptoms for CTE & RHI (irrational behavior, suicidality, drug addiction, and anger issues) also do not present themselves until many years or decades after the start of the disease. CTE is believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head or body. Contact sports, combat duty, and domestic abuse are believed to be the main factors contributing to the start of CTE in the brain. Many people have never heard of CTE. And because it is a progressive and degenerative disease that destroys the brain slowly, the symptoms of CTE may be linked to exposures long forgotten.

Many times families are grieving over a suicide or drug over-dose and the negative implications and shock add to the horrible circumstance. Sometimes it is weeks or years before someone suggests CTE or RHI may have played a role. Getting a brain autopsy not only helps provide much needed research, it also can give families a medical reason for their loss. 

We are seeking brain donations for autopsy of people who played in collision type sports, had military combat duty, or were victims of domestic abuse. There are no costs for this expensive study and identification of donors is confidential. Autopsies of the brain may provide families with critical information they may never have considered and allow them to find understanding from the tragedy while furthering science. 

Brain Donation Brochure: