Search impact stories
Video Content: 
0
July 2013

A positive impact on Alzheimer’s disease

Currently, there are an estimated 500,000 Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease or related memory disorders. This number is expected to grow drastically with Canada’s aging population, with a projection of one million Canadians suffering from the disease by the year 2038.

For Chemistry undergrad Fernando Eguiarte-Solomon, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, coming to Canada for a 12-week Mitacs Globalink internship to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease research was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I wanted to seize the opportunity to contribute to research that could have a major impact. I felt that a Mitacs Globalink internship would be an enriching experience and make for a very interesting summer, and this has proven to be true.”

Alongside Dr. Margaret Fahnestock from McMaster University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Fernando is examining brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a molecule that is critical for nerve cell survival and function, which has proven to be dramatically reduced in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Research on Alzheimer’s disease has progressed significantly and is nearing a point where memory deficits can be treated, improving the quality of life for patients and their families,” said Fernando.  His research will work towards determining the mechanisms that lead to decreased BDNF levels, with the ultimate goal of preventing the decline of learning and memory deficits.

“Mitacs Globalink not only allows students to learn and engage in top notch laboratories with novel techniques, but also provides opportunity to share and collaborate with expert minds.”

Image: Alfred Pasieka / Science Photo Library


Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities: BD@mitacs.ca