New research has revealed that damage to vision caused by a stroke can be reversed by the body reorganising the brain.
In a study of a 51-year-old man six months after he had suffered a stroke, scientists found that an area of his brain that had stopped receiving signals from the eyes due to the stroke was responding to signals formerly managed by adjacent brain areas.
Dr Shimon Ullman, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, commented: "The results shed light on the ability of the adult human brain to reorganise itself and on the functional consequences of such reorganisation.
"Considerable plasticity of the brain has been demonstrated in various animals and different brain regions, but relatively little has been known about such reorganisation processes of the human visual system."
It is hoped that the discovery, which is detailed in September 5th issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, will lead to the development of new therapies to aid recovery following stroke and brain injury.