Brain Donation for RLS Research


The study of human brain tissue has increased our understanding of how the nervous system functions. Postmortem human brain research has played a significant role in the development of a genetic test for Huntington’s disease and a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. However, studies focused on RLS needed both an appropriate repository and tissue donors in order to make significant progress.


The NeuroBioBank (NBB) was established in 2013 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to integrate the collection, processing, storage and distribution of post-mortem brain tissue using a network of tissue repositories located throughout the US (The University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank, University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank, The Human Brain and Spinal Fluid Resource Center (UCLA/VA), Mt. Sinai Brain Bank, Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center and the Brain Tissue Donation Program at the University of Pittsburgh).

The NBB has partnered with the Brain Donor Project ( to help interested individuals with the donation process. Many RLS Foundation members have made the decision to participate in this research opportunity to support our goal to find better treatments and a cure for RLS. If you are interested in supporting the work of RLS researchers, contact the Brain Donor Project to pre-register your gift of donation to the NeuroBioBank.

The RLS Foundation still maintains the RLS Foundation Brain Bank at the Harvard Brain and Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC), a part of the Harvard University medical system and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Brain Bank System. Scientists from the nation's top research and medical centers have requested postmortem brain tissue from both the HBTRC and the NBB for their investigations.