Montreal Gazette - A way for families to 'make some sense of the loss'


Published: 16Jan2011

When the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank learns about a potential candidate for brain donation, specially trained staff from the bank contact the family. A research assistant begins by establishing that the family member he is speaking to is not in crisis. He explains the process of brain donation, the research, and talks about the follow-up interviews that will be done about a month later - or whenever the family is ready…

It is a modified version of a standard psychiatric screening tool used to diagnose psychiatric and personality disorders, containing hundreds of open-ended questions. Depending on the donor's history, it can take between two and four hours for each respondent to complete, says Gustavo Turecki, co-director of the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank and the director of the McGill Group for Suicide Studies.