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NINDS National Brain and Tissue Resource for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders (NBTR-PD) at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute (BSHRI)


    Meet The Investigators   

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picture of Thomas Beach MD PhD

Thomas Beach M.D., Ph.D.

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picture of Charles H Adler MD PhD

Charles H. Adler, M.D., Ph.D.

The Banner Sun Health Research Institute's (BSHRI) Brain and Body Donation Program (BBDP) is located in Sun City, Arizona and has been enrolling healthy elderly individuals and people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurological disorders willing to donate their brain and other biospecimens for research purposes since 1986. This longitudinal, community-based study performs standardized cognitive and motor assessments of study participants who are then autopsied at death; more than 800 subjects are currently enrolled. Since 2011, the NINDS has provided support for the National Brain and Tissue Resource for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders (NBTR-PD) through a cooperative agreement mechanism (U24 NS072026). This investment will provide support to expand enrollment and longitudinal clinical assessment of people with PD and related disorders, as well as to bank and distribute related high quality biospecimens that are invaluable to the advancement of research on PD.

Currently under the direction of  Thomas G. Beach, MD, PhD (BSHRI), and Charles H. Adler, MD, PhD (Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale), the overall BBDP has a unique focus on rapid autopsy, with a median 3.2 hour postmortem interval (PMI) for the entire autopsied series of nearly 1500 cases. Whole body donation was instituted in 2005, with organs and tissue banked from more than 350 subjects, of which more than 50 had a neuropathologically-confirmed PD diagnosis.

Current specimens in the NINDS NBTR-PD include fixed and frozen brain tissue from more than 150 subjects with PD, 75 with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 50 with incidental Lewy body disease (iLBD) and more than 250 elderly control subjects.  Medical history and clinical evaluations are available for many cases. The program also includes a focus on normal aging and annual comprehensive standardized cognitive, motor and non-motor assessments. Frozen tissue, postmortem blood serum and CSF are available and tissue quality is extremely high, with a median brain RNA integrity index exceeding 8.5.  More information about the NBTR-PD is available at

NINDS researchers interested in accessing this resource to advance their PD research programs are encouraged to register and submit biospecimen and data requests. All requests will be reviewed by a Resources Committee. To request access to available samples, including those for PD and related disorders, please register at: at:

Last Modified December 23, 2013