A Japanese research group led by Professor Junichi Nabekura, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) Japan, found that after cerebral stroke in one side of the mouse brain, another side of the brain rewires its neural circuits to recuperate from damaged neural function, says a statement from NIPS.

The research group investigated how neural circuits rearrange themselves after cerebral strokes by using two-photon laser microscopy in vivo.

In a specific period after strokes in the right side of the mouse brain—namely 1 to 2 weeks after strokes—the left side of the brain rearranged its neural circuits actively, says the statement.

After 3 to 4 weeks, the left side of the brain received sensory information from the left leg that is usually received by the right side of the brain.

In conclusion, the stroke in the right side of the brain activated the rearrangement of the neural circuits in the left side of the brain, and then these rearrangements helped to recuperate from stroke-induced damaged neural function, says the statement. Nabekura said in the statement that researchers found that the active rearrangement of the neural circuits in the opposite side of the brain happens only in the specific period after strokes. The findings can be applied to rehabilitative programs for stroke survivors, he added.

The Japan Science and Technology Agency supported this study. Their findings are reported in the August 12 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, on 2009.

[Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences]