The chief goal of the Clinical and Neuropathology Core is to obtain and provide well-characterized postmortem human brain tissue for investigations of the etiology and basic mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease. These tissues are essential to validate the hypotheses and observations generated by the studies of cellular and molecular biology and experimental animal models proposed in Project 1, Project 2, and Project 3.
To this end, the staff of Core D recruits, evaluates and follows patients with Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, as well as controls. These individuals give consent for eventual autopsy and brain donation and are enrolled in a prospective autopsy cohort. At death, the Core arranges and performs autopsies and provides neuropathological diagnoses in these subjects. Postmortem tissues are prepared and archived both for diagnostic and research purposes by the Brain Resource Center (BRC). The BRC serves as a repository of fixed and frozen brain tissues prepared for research including cases of Parkinson’s disease, other Lewy body diseases, and normal and diseased controls.
Core D also maintains and staffs histology-immunocytochemistry and stereology laboratories to support and facilitate the morphological assessment of human and experimental mouse models relevant to the studies of Parkinson’s disease delineated in Project 1-3.
Finally, Core D provides the fundamental infrastructure to facilitate independently funded clinical and clinicopathological investigations of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders at JHMI and collaborating institutions, trains basic investigators and clinical neuroscientists in clinical and neuropathological issues relevant to Parkinson’s disease, and provides educational outreach to the community.