British scientists have been given permission to treat stroke patients with injections of cells from an aborted baby, it emerged last night.
In a world first, stem cells from a 12-week-old foetus will be injected into patients’ brains.
Experts believe the cells will regenerate areas damaged by strokes and restore movement and mental skills.
But anti-abortion groups condemned the trials as ‘sick’ and said it was barbaric for society to use aborted foetuses this way.
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A quarter of a million Britons have a severe disability caused by a stroke.
Until now there has been no way of repairing the damage created when the brain is starved of oxygen.
In the two-year trial, starting next year, four groups of three patients will be given stem cells developed by the biotech company ReNeuron in Surrey.
The ‘blank cells’ can turn into any type of human tissue. The ones needed for the trial havebeen grown in culture after they were taken from a foetus’s brain.
ReNeuron could use cells from an adult, but says foetal cells are more adaptable.