Washington, Jan 19 (ANI): Taking a revolutionary step in stem cell research, scientists in the UK will be injecting stem cells into patients to try to repair brain damage in stroke patients.
For the first time, scientists will take stem cells from an aborted foetus and inject them into the brain of stroke victims.
If successful, the trial could put British scientists at the forefront of research into incurable diseases.The scientists are hoping that cells, which can renew themselves, will regenerate areas damaged by stroke, and increase patients' movements and mental abilities.
However, pro-life groups have described the advance as "sick," saying it is unethical to use aborted foetuses.
In the trial, four groups of three patients will be given the treatment over the next two years, starting with a low dose of two million foetal stem cells and rising to 20 million.
"If it works, as it has done in animal model systems, it may allow new nerve cells to grow or regeneration of existing cells and actual recovery of function in patients who would not otherwise be able to regain function," The Telegraph quoted Dr Keith Muir, the consultant surgeon leading the trial at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, as saying.
He added: "You can reorganise the brain, you can help that reorganisation with physiotherapy but you cannot cause new nerve cells to grow. The hope with stem cell therapy is that by putting in new cells and new tissue that you can further improve on that recovery.
"Europe is going to be the centre in stem cells and regenerative medicine and that is very exciting."
The Society for the Unborn Child described the proposal as "sick", saying it involved "cannibalising an unborn child". (ANI)