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Losing a loved one with dementia, brain injury, or neurological disease can be a difficult experience and can leave you and your family with unanswered questions.  An autopsy can help to answer those questions.  Many if not most dementias cannot be diagnosed with certainty without a tissue diagnosis.

The brain cannot generally be biopsied during life due to its crucial functions.  This means that diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, among many more can only be definitively diagnosed at autopsy.  The autopsy is the gold standard of diagnosis for dementias, and the final answer in documenting and explaining the extent of disease and damage in other organic brain diseases.

 

A brain autopsy can be coordinated through the UPMC Department of Pathology.  During regular work hours Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm call 412-647-3720 (Option 2).  After hours call 412-647-2345 and ask for the autopsy attending on call. For patients enrolled in the Alzheimer's Disease Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh please call 412-692-2700 for more information or visit the ADRC website at http://www.adrc.pitt.edu/autopsy_program.asp.