Neuropathology Core

The Neuropathology Core (NPC) focuses on the coordination of autopsies for patients enrolled in the CADRC. This includes the final diagnostic study, storage, and distribution of fixed and frozen brain tissue from longitudinally characterized patients enrolled in the CADRC.

What is Neuropathology?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look inside the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s and actually see for yourself exactly what is happening to affect that person’s memory, thinking, and other processes? Neuropathologists get to precisely do that.

Neuropathology is the branch of pathology that deals with the study of diseases of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. It involves the examination of tissues obtained from autopsies, surgeries, or biopsies to understand the structural and functional changes associated with various neurological disorders.

Neuropathologists analyze abnormalities at the cellular and molecular levels to identify the underlying causes of neurological diseases. This field plays a crucial role in diagnosing and understanding neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Who We Are

The NPC is located at Case Western Reserve University, within the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC). The NPDPSC has over two decades of experience with coordinating autopsies, collecting, characterizing, storing and distributing tissues from suspected prion disease cases across the U.S.

We work closely with the CADRC Clinical Core (CC) to enroll patients in the brain donation program.  Our autopsy coordinators assist families in obtaining the necessary data for a smooth autopsy coordination effort.  The tissues are then tested and diagnosed per NIA-AA criteria.

Researchers may also request tissue through the NPC biobank. Requests should be directed to


Dr. Mark Cohen, Neuropathology Core Director (Co-Director, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center)

Dr. Brian Appleby, Neuropathology Core Co-Director (Director, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center)

Dr. Jim Leverenz, Additional Neuropathology Review

Dr. Allison Kraus, Neuropathology Core Co-Investigator

Katie Glisic, Research Administrator

Danielle Jordan and Meghan Lewis, Autopsy Coordinators

UH Mortician’s Office

UH & NPDPSC histology staff

For more information on Brain Donations through the CADRC, see our FAQ page: