Our charity has been part of a steering group discussing the important practical and ethical issues around brain tissue research for several years.

We do not make any recommendations to our members about whether they should take part or not, as we believe this is a personal decision. However, we have taken active steps to make our members aware of such research through our membership magazine, Your Autism Magazine.

Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition affecting an estimated half a million people in the UK. The causes of autism are not yet understood but experts believe that it is a developmental condition affecting brain function. Better understanding of the workings of the brain could give us a clear insight into how best to help and guide autistic people to ensure they have the highest quality of life possible.

However, brain tissue donation inevitably involves many other complex emotional and other factors. There are many other areas of research into autism, for example, sibling studies and research into education and behavioural interventions, which are also having a major impact on our understanding of autism and how best to support those affected by the condition.

For information on any of the above, please contact our Press Office on 0207 903 3593 or email press@nas.org.uk.