In what is being claimed as the world’s first stem cell trial for stroke victims, British doctors have injected cells into the brain of a patient in a ground-breaking surgery.

A team at the University of Glasgow has carried out the pioneering procedure on a patient who will be closely monitored for two years to see if the treatment is successful, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The research will test whether implanting stem cells can treat damaged areas of the brain and improve quality of life for victims of ischaemic stroke caused by a blockage of blood flow in the brain.

The trial is being led by Professor Keith Muir from the university’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology and the surgery was carried out at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital. The patient has been discharged.

Prof Muir said: “We are pleased that the first patient in the trial has undergone surgery successfully. Stroke is a common and serious condition that leaves a large number of people with significant disability.

“In this trial we are seeking to establish the safety and feasibility of stem cell implantation, which will require careful follow-up of the patients who take part. We hope that in future it will lead on to larger studies to determine the effects of stem cells on the disabilities that result from stroke.”