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Siminoff LA , Mash D , Wilson-Genderson M , Gardiner HM , Mosavel M , Barker L
Making a family decision to donate the brain for genomic research: lessons from the genotype-tissue expression project (GTEx)
Cell Tissue Bank. 2021 Sep;22(3) :431-441
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This study sheds light on the attitudes and circumstances that influence decisions by families to donate the brain of a deceased family member for research. This study, a part of the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, interviewed families of patients who had authorized organ and/or tissue donation for transplantation. A total of 384 family decision makers (FDMs) who decided to donate organs and/or tissues for transplantation were also asked to donate to GTEx. Of these, 297 families were asked to donate their loved one's whole brain and 87 families responded to a hypothetical request for brain donation. The decision to donate the brain to GTEx, actually or hypothetically, was the major outcome measure. The majority of the FDMs would choose to donate the brain, 78%. Unwillingness to donate the brain was associated with four attitudes: (1) the FDM unwillingness to donate their own tissues for research (OR 1.91, 95% CI .67 to 2.96; p = .05), (2) concern with potential for-profit use of tissues (OR 2.12, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.7; p = .008), (3) reported squeamishness about tissue donation (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.7; p = .006), and (4) belief that FDMs should have a say in how the donated tissues are used (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.5; p = .01). Organ and tissue donors may present a plenteous source of brains for research. Family concerns about tissue use and collection should be addressed by requesters.
1573-6814 Siminoff, Laura A Orcid: 0000-0002-6775-665x Mash, Deborah Wilson-Genderson, Maureen Gardiner, Heather M Mosavel, Maghboeba Barker, Laura HHSN261200800001E/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States Journal Article Netherlands Cell Tissue Bank. 2021 Jan 2. doi: 10.1007/s10561-020-09890-9.