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Target ALS Postmortem Tissue Core

Autopsies are performed at six geographically distributed academic ALS centers (Johns Hopkins University, Barrow Neurological Institute, Columbia University, Georgetown University, University of California San Diego and Washington University St. Louis) according to strict SOPs for tissue acquisition, dissection, processing, storage, neuropathological characterization, and QC analysis - all specifically optimized for ALS research. A web-based searchable database of the postmortem tissue inventory provides estimates of fixed and frozen tissues available that meet basic demographic criteria. More detailed case characteristics request and tissue regions can be requested using the Target ALS PM Core Request Form, which includes the instructions and timeline for requesting samples. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) and bulk tissue RNA-Seq for multiple central nervous system (CNS) regions are performed centrally at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) on all autopsies, and raw data files in multiple formats are made immediately available (via Genetic Data Request Form). The de-identified genomic, transcriptomic, and phenotypic data can also be visualized and explored using the MetroNome Visual Data Exploration Platform. This is the most comprehensive, modern ALS specific autopsy bank in the USA.


Department of Veteran Affairs Biorepository Brain Bank (VABBB)

Collects, processes, stores, and gives out neurological tissue specimens from Veterans who died from ALS or related motor neuron disorders (PLS, PMA, PBP). Veterans without ALS or other neurological diseases (Non-Neurological Controls) are also collected. Downloadable description of tissue inventory and separate brochure for investigators. Tissue Request Forms may be requested from Dr. Ian Robey via email (


Netherlands Brain Bank (NBB)

Part of the BrainNet Europe II, the NBB contains >4,000 autopsies with a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and non-demented controls. Also provides CSF, plasma, and sometimes spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia. There is online access to search the NBB database (requires registering for an account), and detailed information on the sample request and review process, including downloadable application forms.


NIH NeuroBioBank

Postmortem Brain Tissues collected at six academic centers (University of Miami, University of Maryland, Harvard, the Human Brain and Spinal Fluid Resource Center, Mt. Sinai Brain Bank, University of Pittsburgh). Not specific for ALS, but contains ALS autopsies. Has an online inventory search website and detailed online instructions for obtaining tissues.


UK Brain Banks Network

MRC directed national network of UK Brain Banks using common protocols to collect and store tissues. The network provides high quality brain tissue to academic and industry researchers in the UK and internationally. Not ALS specific, but includes motor neuron disease autopsies at many centers. Researchers can use an online searchable database (requires registration), which contains details of the samples available.

Steven Finkbeiner

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Gladstone Institutes, UCSF
Two recently discovered genes that have been associated with both familial and sporadic forms of ALS encode the related proteins TDP43 and FUS cause neuron death in ALS.
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