Research ArticleNEUROIMAGING

White matter changes linked to visual recovery after nerve decompression

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Science Translational Medicine  10 Dec 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 266, pp. 266ra173
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3010798

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The Healing Brain

In a new study, Paul et al. use magnetic resonance imaging in human patients to predict recovery of vision after surgery to remove pituitary gland tumors that have compressed the optic nerve. They found that after tumor removal, the insulation of the nerves regenerated rapidly and that this could be used as a direct marker of vision recovery. This suggests that the brain has a unique ability to heal. A deeper understanding of this healing process could advance treatments for a number of pathologies of the central nervous system involving nerve injury.

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