Mechanical lesions of the fimbria fornix (FF) have been widely used as a model to investigate the recovery of damaged brain tissue.1H-NMR imaging was employed to non-invasively measure changes in the brain after unilateral FF transection. Rats were subjected to NMR imaging at various times after the lesions were made. The experimental protocol included (multislice) T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging thereby allowing the construction of two-dimensional maps of the relaxation time T2 (transverse or spin-spin relaxation time) and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water. FF transection induced considerable changes in the status of the brain tissue at a number of different locations which were exclusively present in the affected hemisphere. At 1 day post-lesion the region of the lateral ventricle and hippocampus started to display pronounced changes in that T2- and diffusion-weighted images showed a hyperintensity and a hypointensity, respectively. These effects were maximal around day 2 to 4 whereafter a slow recovery towards the control situation was observed. Immediately after transection the FF lesion itself could be visualized. These early images pointed to an aspecific disruption of the tissue due to the mechanical intervention. Interestingly, however, from day 2 post-lesion a number of changes became evident in this region which seemed to be localized to specific structures, including the ventricle and hippocampus. After one month the presumably ventricular effect dominated and was predominantly localized to the anterior side of the FF lesion. These findings are indicative of pronounced changes in the status of water (e.g., in its distribution between extra- and intracellular compartments) at a number of locations distant from the site of FF transection. The mechanism by which these changes are brought about and the origin of their time-dependence remain to be elucidated.