MS Researchers Need You > Tissue and DNA Banks
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports several facilities that provide resources for researchers studying multiple sclerosis. These include two MS tissue banks and an MS DNA bank. These facilities depend upon the generous pledges of tissue or blood donors who recognize the importance that their "gifts" can make for MS research.
MS Tissue Bank
A tissue bank is very close to what it sounds like: an area in a laboratory or medical center where tissue specimens are "deposited" and stored for later "withdrawal" and use. The MS tissue banks store brain and spinal cord tissues, spinal fluid and other specimens from persons who had MS during their lifetimes. These samples are frozen or otherwise preserved very soon after the death of the donors. The banked tissues are carefully catalogued with information about the donor's medical history. The tissue banks are located in California and Colorado.
For those considering donating tissue to one of these banks, planning ahead is essential. Brain tissue must be prepared within hours of death to be of use in MS research. Individuals interested in the possibility of tissue donation can contact these banks as follows:
Rocky Mountain MS Center
701 East Hampton Avenue
Englewood, CO 80110
Telephone: (303) 788-4806
MS Human Neurospecimen Bank
Veteran Administration Medical Center
11301 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90073
Telephone: (310) 268-3536
MS DNA Bank
For a number of years, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has supported efforts to "screen" all 23 pairs of human chromosomes in search of genes that confer susceptibility to MS. To carry out these studies and pinpoint the MS genes, investigators are collecting a large number of blood samples (from which DNA is derived) from people whose families have multiple members with MS, and have established an MS DNA bank. Families interested in contributing genetic material to this effort may contact the investigators at:
MS DNA Bank
Department of Neurology
University of California at San Francisco
513 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0435
San Francisco, CA 94143-0435
In addition to their use by the research team, these valuable DNA samples from the MS DNA bank will be made available for use by researchers around the world who are studying MS susceptibility.