World-renowned universities are usually famous because of their famous graduates or their ancient and scientific reputation; But the city university Eden Denmark is known for a completely different reason. This university welcomes the biggest Collection From human brain have been kept underground for decades.
What is the reason for maintaining the human brain?
The Edense campus of the University of Southern Denmark houses a huge collection of human brains with more than 9,000 specimens. All these brains have been removed from the skulls of mental health patients during four decades of activity. Of course, removing the brains of patients has been stopped since 1980 and the current samples are left over from years ago.
This series was created with the efforts of the famous Danish scientist and psychiatrist, “Erik Stromgren(Erik Strömgren), it has been collected, devoted his life to the study of patients and their brains. The samples extracted from the skulls of people are stored in formalin containers with specific numbers to protect them from biological and chemical changes.
With the help of his colleagues, Stromgren started removing the brains of deceased patients in 1945 as an experimental research. They hoped to find an altered region in the brain samples that caused the disease. However, the mentioned process was done without obtaining permission or informing the patient and his family. Of course, it should be noted that at that time, the rights of patients were not prioritized as much as they are now, and government centers could easily take such actions. Even according to the laws enacted from 1929 to 1967, mental health patients had to be sterilized and until 1989 they had to pass certain tests to get married; Things that are strongly criticized today.
Another reason that made it easier for Stromgen to remove brains from patients was the Danish government’s insistence that all corpses be autopsied at the time. The increase in awareness about patients’ rights caused new laws to be enacted in 1982, and for this reason, the acquisition of brain samples from the corpses of patients was also stopped. However, the human brain collection at Edense University still preserves samples of people suffering from various diseases such as dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
Although even the most recent specimens in the collection are more than 40 years old, four research projects still use them in their research. One of the important causes of this phenomenon is the existence of complications related to physical diseases along with mental health diseases; Because patients hospitalized in such hospitals have usually spent many years of their lives in them, and other diseases such as stroke, epilepsy, and brain tumors are common among them.
Among other important aspects of the human brain complex, patients have not received the common drugs of today; So that the samples obtained from patients with Parkinson’s are completely different from the current samples. Dr. “Suzana Aznaz” from the Copenhagen Research Hospital points out that by comparing new and old samples, the effects of modern treatments on the brain can be checked; Because the brain of today’s patients is usually changed due to receiving different drugs.