The Netherlands Brain Bank for Psychiatry (NBB-Psy)
NBB-Psy is a brain donor and autopsy program of the Netherlands Brain Bank launched with the mission to increase the availability of tissue for fundamental and applied research into psychiatric disorders. This program resulted in an unprecedented collection of well-characterised brain tissue and pathological information of 7 major psychiatric disorders:
- Major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Schizophrenia (SCZ)
- Bipolar disorder (BP)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The importance of NBB-Psy
The personal, social and economic burden of psychiatric disorders is high and current therapies do not sufficiently help a large number of the patients. As such, there is an urgent need for better treatment strategies. Yet, we still do not know the cellular and molecular mechanisms for what goes wrong in the brains of psychiatric patients. The use of human brain tissue provides the most direct strategy to develop and test hypotheses about the molecular and cellular basis of psychiatric disorders. The current worldwide availability of human brain tissue from patients with psychiatric disorders is by far not sufficient. Therefore, it is our mission to obtain and provide a unique collection of brain tissue of well-characterised psychiatric and control donors through NBB-Psy (NHB-Psy in Dutch). Good access to brain tissue can facilitate breakthroughs in researching the origins of psychiatric diseases.
The importance of NBB-Psy to research is also illustrated by 3 clinicians/researchers who successfully use tissue and data from NBB-Psy donors to generate new insights in the aetiology of psychiatric disorders.
Expanding the NBB-Psy collection
Due to the NBB-Psy program we increased the numbers of registrations of donors with psychiatric disorders by almost 7 times compared to prior to the start of NBB-Psy (in comparison, the number of donors with a neurological disorder is ca. 1,5 times as high, and the number of controls is almost 2 times as high) (see Numbers and Figures). The number of projects using tissue from these donors is now following and we encourage applications from researchers worldwide to make further use of this tissue.