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Saturday, May 17, 2014
"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume XVIII: The Autism Brain Edition
We all know that scientific research is critical to parents like us, raising children with a chronic illness or special need. Much-needed treatments and cures hinge upon information uncovered in research labs. Causality and prevention are also revealed through scientific investigation. But what do you do when the material you need to explore is so close, yet so far from reach?
This is exactly what a collaborative project between Autism Speaks, researchers, and pathologists seeks to address. It seems that there is a huge shortage of brains being donated postmortem by individuals affected by autism spectrum disorders. In fact, I nearly fell over when I learned via an article by Disability Scoop that only "four to six brain donations per year", are added to the collection of samples.
Are you SERIOUS?!
For as activated and vocal as the autism community can be, it is hard to comprehend how there have been so FEW brain donations to this critical work. Granted, this critical lack of needed tissue has been exacerbated by one-third of the world's largest brain bank becoming unusable due to a freezer malfunction. However, I think we parents can majorly help turn the tide on this situation.
Let our renewed awareness and advocacy turn the tide on this shortage!