World’s biggest brain collection in Denmark used for research on mental illness

A representative image of the human brain. – Insplash/file

Odense: On the walls of the basement of the University of Odense in Denmark, countless shelves line what is believed to be the world’s largest collection of brains.

There are 9,479 organs, which were harvested from the corpses of mental health patients over four decades until the 1980s.

Preserved in formalin in large white buckets labeled with numbers, the collection was the life’s work of eminent Danish psychologist Erik Stromgren.

[1945میںشروعہوا،یہایکقسمکاتھا۔تجرباتی تحقیقنفسیات کی تاریخ کے ماہر جیسپر واسی کراگ نے وضاحت کی۔ اے ایف پی.

Stromgren اور ان کے ساتھیوں کا خیال تھا کہ “ہو سکتا ہے کہ وہ اس بارے میں کچھ جان سکیں کہ دماغی بیماریاں کہاں ہیں، یا انہوں نے سوچا کہ شاید وہ ان دماغوں میں جواب تلاش کر سکیں”۔

ڈنمارک بھر میں نفسیاتی اداروں سے وابستہ افراد کی لاشوں پر پوسٹ مارٹم کیے جانے کے بعد دماغ جمع کیے گئے تھے۔

نہ تو متوفی اور نہ ہی ان کے اہل خانہ سے کبھی اجازت لی گئی۔

انہوں نے کہا کہ “یہ سرکاری دماغی ہسپتال تھے اور وہاں باہر سے کوئی لوگ نہیں تھے جو ان ریاستی اداروں میں کیا ہو رہا ہے کے بارے میں سوال پوچھ رہے تھے۔”

اس وقت، مریضوں کے حقوق بنیادی تشویش نہیں تھے۔

کوپن ہیگن یونیورسٹی کے محقق نے کہا کہ اس کے برعکس، معاشرے کا خیال ہے کہ اسے ان لوگوں سے محفوظ رکھنے کی ضرورت ہے۔

1929 اور 1967 کے درمیان، قانون کے تحت ذہنی اداروں سے وابستہ افراد کو جراثیم سے پاک کرنے کی ضرورت تھی۔

1989 تک، انہیں شادی کی اجازت کے لیے خصوصی چھوٹ حاصل کرنی پڑتی تھی۔

ڈنمارک “ذہنی طور پر بیمار” لوگوں کو سمجھتا تھا، جیسا کہ اس وقت انہیں کہا جاتا تھا، “معاشرے کے لیے ایک بوجھ [and believed that] If we let them have children, we abandon them… they will cause all kinds of trouble,” said Wakzi Krag.

At the time, an autopsy was performed on every dean that died, said pathologist Martin Vernfeld Nielsen, the collection’s director.

“It was just part of the culture at the time, an autopsy was just another way of the hospital,” Nelson said.

The evolution of autopsy procedures and a growing awareness of patients’ rights led to the completion of a new addition to the collection in 1982. Then there was a long and heated debate about what to do with it.

Denmark’s State Ethics Council ultimately ruled that it should be preserved and used for scientific research.

Unlocking hidden secrets

The collection, long located in Aarhus in western Denmark, was moved to Odense in 2018.

Research on the collection has covered a wide range of illnesses over the years, including dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

The debate is essentially over, and [now people] “Well, if you want to learn more about mental illness, this is very impressive and useful scientific research,” said the collection’s director.

Some brains belonged to people who suffered from both mental health problems. Mental diseases.

“Since many of these patients were admitted for perhaps half their lives, or even their whole lives, they may have had mental illnesses, such as strokes, epilepsy or dementia,” he added. Brain Tumors.”

Four research projects are currently using the collection.

“It doesn’t do any good if it’s not used,” says Kind Christensen, former head of the National Mental Health Association.

“Now that we have it, we should actually use it,” he said, lamenting the lack of funding for research.

Neurobiologist Susanna Azner, a Parkinson’s specialist who works at a research hospital in Copenhagen, is using the combination as part of her team’s research project.

Brains are unique in that they enable scientists to see the effects of modern treatments, he said.

“They weren’t treated the way we are now,” he said.

It may be that the minds of patients nowadays have been changed by their treatment.

When Azner’s team compares them with brains from the collection, “we can see if these changes can be associated with treatment,” he said.

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