It is reported that 1 in 88 children in the United States, have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Due to the increase in diagnosed cases there has been great efforts taken by service providers and organizations to continue researching and making efforts to gain more insight about this disorder.
The Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts is one of the agencies that have done so much by way of research to gain some insight about autism and other neurological disorders of the brain. Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center has been accepting brain donations from people with Autism for about twenty years. This center was home to as many as three hundred, donated brains, all of which are used to conduct research and gain insight into a variety of disorders.
Approximately ninety-three brains that were donated for research were accidentally thawed due to a malfunction in the freezer, which housed them. Of the ninety-three brains, roughly fifty-four of those were designated for autism research. Harvard spokesperson, Adriana Bobinchock, has a team conducting an investigation in hopes of determining how the freezer malfunction occurred.
Dr. Francine Benes, director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, told the Boston Globe that the damaged brains were a “priceless collection.” While foul play cannot totally be ruled out at this time, Bobinchock said that after reviewing surveillance footage and other safety measures, foul play is not likely.
Scientists are currently conducting tests to see if DNA in the damaged brains is intact and can be used for further genetic research. Bobinchock said, however, that “it is unclear whether the samples will be compatible with the full-range of the needs of neuroscientists.”
Thirty-two of the brains had been bisected, with one hemisphere placed in formalin (a formaldehyde liquid) and one half put in the freezer. The brains contained in the formalin remain available for all research projects.
This incident has dealt a hard blow to this center and will undoubtedly have a huge impact on research of autism spectrum disorders. It will be especially difficult for Autism Speaks, as the brain samples were allocated for research for their organization. Autism Speaks is one of the most widely known organizations in research and services for those with autism and they provide invaluable services to populations living with autism. It is reported that this incident could stall autism research for many years to come.
If you need to know more about Autism and services in the New Jersey and Delaware areas contact New Behavioral Network.
- New York Times
- ABC News
- Sleep Apnea Increases The Chances of Contracting #Cancer By Up To 68% (nbngroup.com)
- Best And WORSE Places To Live If YOU Have #COPD [Infographic] (nbngroup.com)
- Headlag in Babies COULD Be The First Step In EARLY Diagnosis Of #Autism (newbehavioralnetwork.com)