posted on Nov. 7: Scientists receive grant money to aid research into Alzheimer’s disease


In her laboratory within the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster
neuroscientist Margaret Fahnestock is studying proteins essential
for nervous system development and function.

Her research focus is on
the regulation and biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors and their role
in Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

Fahnestock and her colleagues are specifically looking at nerve growth
factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which are
necessary for peripheral and central nervous system development,
maintenance and response to injury. They are attempting to dissect the mechanisms that regulate NGF and BDNF expression and to determine how these mechanisms go awry in Alzheimer's disease.

At a special luncheon held recently, Fahnestock accepted a cheque for $35,000 from Frank Fordham, Hamilton
Valley representative, of the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of
Canada. This was the second instalment of a three-year grant that will aid in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

The foundation also
presented Diego Garzon, a graduate student in Fahnestock's laboratory,
with a grant for $6,750, which will help with his graduate studies.

Diego and I are grateful to the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of
Canada for its generous support of our research, said Fahnestock.

are studying molecules that we hope will shed light on the reasons for
neuronal loss in Alzheimer's disease and perhaps lead to new therapies
for this devastating disease. These funds will allow us to pursue an
exciting new lead and will allow Diego to continue his graduate

From its incorporation, the foundation has concentrated its efforts in
support of research into the causes of and the possible cure
of intellectual impairment, especially as it affects children and older

Through donations from members and other interested individuals,
fundraising programs, bequests and memorials, the Scottish Rite
Charitable Foundation of Canada has increased its capital to more than
$9 million dollars. This year, income of $550,000 was used to fund
major research grants and graduate student research grants across

Photo: (L to R) Diego Garzon, Frank Fordham, Margaret