Enormous brain biobank is member of the Polish Biobanking Network
The Polish Biobanking Network (PBN) was created in 2017 by the Consortium BBMRI.pl and since then has continued to grow. The number and variety of the biological material collections is continuously increasing. Most of the units forming the PBN are located at universities, research institutions or clinical centers.
Biobanks of the Polish Biobanking Network gathers a wide variety of biological material, however it can be said that one of the PBN member is “the brain” of our Network. Why? The First Polish Brain Bank in Institute Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw in Poland, is the biggest Brain Biobank in the world. They storage human brains since 1952 and this is the one of the most valuable biological material collection. It includes over six thousand of the brain’s fragments, tumors biopsies and other tissues samples taken from deceased donors or as a material obtained during surgeries. In their collections are human brains from donors with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Wilson’s disease, Down syndrome, various mental illnesses and childhood diseases, as well as brains from donors with very rare protein mutations.
Employees of the Brain Biobank are very open to the cooperation with other scientists, doctors and all researchers. They give the possibility to the use of their resources located in the Institute’s archives. However, thanks the science and technology development, they have the opportunity to “digitize” their collections to facilitate scientific research in more widely way. Such phenomena can be achieved thanks the „Digital Brain – digital collection of the Institute Psychiatry and Neurology” (Project No.POPC.02.03.01-00.0042/18), which was launched in 2018 (more: https://www.gov.pl/web/popcwsparcie/digital-brain-cyfrowe-zasoby-instytutu-psychiatrii-i-neurologii-w-warszawie). The aim of the project is to create the cyber archive of that unique biobank, which will be available free of charge, in open formats and without registration. It will give also the possibility for ordering a specific test section. The database will also be a practical source of knowledge for students, lecturers and all people who would like to develop their knowledge in the neurological field.