Keio University in Tokyo said Friday it has started the world's first clinical test using induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to treat patients with spinal cord injuries.

In the study commenced in December, the university will eventually transplant cells derived from iPS cells to four patients who between two to four weeks earlier lost motor and sensory function after sustaining injuries when playing sport or in traffic accidents.

So far, one person has received the treatment in which neural stem cells were injected into the injured area. The patient is doing "extremely well," according to the university.