It is widely accepted that neurobiological abnormalities underlie the symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and unipolar or bipolar affective disorders. New molecular methods, computer-assisted quantification techniques and neurobiological investigation methods that can be applied to the human brain are all used in post-mortem investigations of psychiatric disorders. The following article describes modern quantitative methods and recent post-mortem findings in schizophrenia and affective disorders. Using our brain bank as an example, necessary considerations of modern brain banking are addressed such as ethical considerations, clinical work-up, preparation techniques and the organization of a brain bank, the value of modern brain banking for investigations of psychiatric disorders is summarized
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