After the in situ 3T MR scanning, the autopsy is performed by a neuropathologist using a standardized protocols. Brain tissue samples of cortical, subcortical and brainstem regions are collected.
The brain is removed from the skull and the left hemisphere and left brainstem are dissected using a standardized protocol developed by BrainNet Europe to collect brain tissue samples. The brain tissue samples are snap-frozen and stored at -80oC until further processing. The right hemisphere and right brainstem are formalin-fixed for 3-4 weeks until high-field 7 T MRI scanning. Next the right hemisphere and brainstem is dissected and brain tissue is processed for neuropathological assessment.