This press release was produced by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

An investment of $19,7 million

Construction of the Brain Imaging Centre at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute was launched today by the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. Dr. Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services, and Mr. Henri-François Gautrin, MNA for Verdun, were in attendance in honour of the event.

“Our government is proud to partner with the Government of Quebec to help this infrastructure project forge ahead,” declared the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources for Canada and Minister Responsible for Montreal. “This investment will not only directly stimulate our economy while creating employment in the region, but it will also guarantee major long-term support for our institutions."

As Minister Yves Bolduc explained, “Brain imaging techniques are becoming more and more important in neuroscience and psychiatry. They open new avenues to help scientists discover the mechanisms and processes behind mental disorders. Thanks to this project, researchers at the Douglas Institute will have access to cutting-edge infrastructure, which will support the development of already impressive expertise. Quebec will therefore be able to position itself as a leader in basic and applied research in psychiatry and mental health.”

The over 1200 square-metre space will house two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. This leading-edge technology will allow scientists to study brain development over time while improving the accuracy of diagnosis and prognosis as well as our understanding of pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depressive disorders and autism. In addition to the two MRIs, the new facility will also provide a range of complementary imaging techniques, such as cerebral electrophysiology, physiological monitoring and transcranial stimulation.

Verdun MNA Mr. Henri-François Gautrin added, “For the past ten years, the Institute has developed expertise in the field of brain imaging through access to the specialized facilities of the Montreal Neurological Institute, which is 12 kilometres away. This new centre will allow the Douglas to more effectively use human resources and highly specialized technologies, which in turn will have specific benefits for mental health care".

This investment is part of the federal government's knowledge infrastructure program, which is providing two billion dollars over two years to renew and expand research and training facilities in Canada’s colleges and universities. The goal of this program, which is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, is to breathe new life into the economy by promoting job creation and creating state-of-the-art technological infrastructure to keep Quebec and Canada at the cutting edge of scientific breakthroughs.