Each year, approximately 265,000 Americans have a stroke that causes visual impairment. New research, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, sheds light on how the damage in the brain caused by a stroke can lead to permanent vision impairment. The findings could provide researchers with a blueprint to better identify which areas of vision are recoverable, facilitating the development of more effective interventions to encourage vision recovery.
“This study breaks new ground by describing the cascade of processes that occur after a stroke in the visual center of the brain and how this ultimately leads to changes in the retina,” said senior study author Brad Mahon, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Rochester. “By more precisely understanding which connections between the eye and brain remain intact after a stroke, we can begin to explore therapies that encourage neuroplasticity with the ultimate goal of restoring more vision in more patients.”