In testing, fewer rats who suffered an induced stroke were left paralysed after the treatment, which activated stem cells in the brain, researchers found.
The discovery will raise hopes for new treatments for stroke that use the body's ability to heal itself.
A team of scientists stimulated stem cells in the rats' brains after they were starved of oxygen, the Guardian Unlimited reports.
When rats were given the treatment in laboratories, many recovered from the loss of movement they suffered with the stroke.
The discovery will raise hopes for new treatments for a stroke that use the body's own stem cells to aid healing. Other treatments are less successful because implanted cells come under attack from the body's immune system, the Independent reports.