Alzheimer's Research

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Rosalee Yeaworth's husband Tom died last year from Alzheimer's Disease. That's why she's glad the University of Nebraska Medical Center is researching what can be done to prevent the worsening of the disease by immune cells.

Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu heads up that research. His main focus is on studying microglial cells. Those cells are the body's first line of defense against infection. But what Ikezu wants to know is if those cells cause the memory loss associated with the disease. He also wants to figure out how to block those cells from going to the brain.

Still, Dr. Angie Rizzino with UNMC says more can be done. He works with mouse embryonic stem cells. He thinks that working on human embryonic stem cells could lead to a better understanding of the disease. But Rizzino says it is hard to get a human embryonic stem cell to work on because there are too many administrative steps to go through.

Back in 2001, President George Bush approved limited embryonic stem cell funding. Research is only allowed for existing embryonic stem cells prior to his address in August of 2001.