Alex Manfull’s Brain
When Alex died, her parents were asked by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Brain Bank if they would be willing to donate her brain to further research on PANDAS/PANS. A difficult decision had to be made quickly but they knew it was what Alex would have wanted as she was very committed to furthering awareness and education about this insidious disease–PANDAS. The decision was made to donate her brain to NIMH–the only known brain diagnosed with PANDAS in our country and, likely, in the world
The Lab of Pathology at National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided a “Preliminary Anatomic Diagnosis” of Alex’s brain which revealed damage in the basal ganglia region of Alex’s brain. A review of this report by outside experts in neurology, psychiatry, and neuroscience strongly suggests that studying her brain will advance the understanding of PANDAS and PANS.
When the Manfulls discovered that Alex’s brain was sitting in obscurity within the NIMH Brain Bank without any attempt to promote the existence of this important brain made available for research, they decided to move her to brain to the Georgetown Brain Bank and establish a committee to review requests for biospecimen samples for research.