University of Southern California researchers who study Alzheimer's disease want some help. "They're asking for people's brains. More specifically, they're asking people to donate their brains at the time of death for autopsy and scientific research," USC spokeswoman Alice McKay said in a news release. Families of Alzheimer's patients usually are willing to donate their relatives' brains after death, McKay said. For comparison purposes, scientists also need the brains from people who did not have the disease. Research into the degenerative brain disease, which causes premature senility and death, has been hindered by the extreme difficulty of obtaining fresh brain tissue for autopsy, said Caleb Finch, a USC gerontologist who co-directs the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center of Southern California.