Computer program may help stroke victims improve sight

Researchers found that in a small-scale study, they were able to help some stroke victims regain the vision that they had lost because of the condition by having patients complete visual exercises for 9-18 months.

In some cases visual information is still received by the brain, but a portion of the cortex that processes it has been damaged by the stroke, and researchers at the University of Rochester wanted to

Computer program may help stroke victims improve sight see if they could push the brain to develop new pathways in the middle temporal region to process the visual information.

By focusing on motion perception, participants were able to improve their eyesight, with some successfully completing the exercise regaining the ability to drive again, exercise, or go shopping, by "exercising the visual part" of the brain daily, researchers said.

Lead author Dr Krystel Huxlin said she was pleasantly surprised at the results, commenting that normally brain damage from strokes is "devastating, and usually patients are usually sent home to somehow deal with it best they can."

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