Originally posted at http://online.wsj.com
November 9, 2012, By Jeanne Whalen

Some people collect stamps, others vintage cars. As a young Ph.D. student at Cambridge University in the 1980s, Claude Wischik was on a mission to collect brains.

It wasn’t easy. At the time, few organ banks kept entire brains. But Dr. Wischik, an Australian in his early 30s at the time, was attempting to answer a riddle still puzzling the scientific community: What causes Alzheimer’s disease? To do that, Dr. Wischik needed to examine brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients soon after death. That meant getting family approvals and enlisting mortuary technicians to extract the brains, he says, “no matter the time of day or night.” And it wasn’t just a few brains: he collected more than 300 over about a dozen years.

Read the full story at http://online.wsj.com.