London, Oct 12 (ANI): For the first time, scientists have used human embryonic stem cells to treat a paralysed patient in a study described as the "dawn" of a new age of medicine.
Carried out at the Shepherd Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, the trial on a patient with severe spinal injuries is the first to test a treatment that has huge potential to cure disease and disability using human embryonic stem cells.
If successful, the procedure would revolutionize treatments for all kinds of conditions from nerve damage, to Alzheimer's disease to diabetesm, reports the Telegraph.
Professor Chris Mason, an expert in regenerative medicine at University College London, said that the patient had requested to remain anonymous.
Millions of embryonic stem cells, which come from human embryos left over from fertility treatments, were injected into the damage area. The idea is that they will travel to the site of a recent spinal cord injury and transform into damaged nerve cells and help the cord regenerate.
However, the use of these cells is frowned upon in many circles because they must be harvested from human embryos that are destroyed in the process. This has raised moral objections from those who believe that embryos have the same right as humans, and see the treatment as unethical.
Ben Sykes, Executive Director, UK National Stem Cell Network, said, "This is indeed a significant milestone in our journey towards the promise of stem cell-based medicines." (ANI)