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Murdoch's brain used for research

THE BRAIN of Dame Iris Murdoch has been donated for research into Alzheimer's disease, according to the wishes of the Booker prize- winning author and philosopher. Dame Iris died aged 79 in February after suffering from the illness for four years.

Professor Robin Jacoby of Oxford's Warneford Hospital, who cared for the writer during her last days, said yesterday: "Iris Murdoch herself wanted her brain used for research. Her husband, Professor John Bayley, was carrying out her wishes."

Prof Bayley, 74, a former professor of English literature at Oxford University, was reported as saying that he and his wife talked about the decision during her final months. "One just hopes they will find a way of coping with Alzheimer's," he said.

The Alzheimer's Disease Society has praised Dame Iris and Prof Bayley for their decision.