Israel's ex-leader shows progress
JERUSALEM — Seven years since suffering a major stroke, comatose ex-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has surprised his doctors by displaying “a certain degree of consciousness,” an expert who examined him using an MRI scan said on Sunday.
The results of tests conducted by a joint Israeli-American team did not mean the former general and right-wing politician turned peacemaker was about to wake up from the coma he has been in since a January 2006 stroke.
But doctors saw the responses displayed by Sharon, 84, in a two-hour exam on Thursday as “encouraging” that there may some day be a cure for some comas, Alon Friedman, a neurological director at Israel's Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba, said.
Experts at Soroka, joined by a leading U.S. neurologist, Martin Monti, of UCLA, scanned Sharon's brain to test its function, Friedman said.
“The chances of him getting out of bed are very, very slim,” Friedman said.
But the machine detected some brain activity, when Sharon was shown photographs of his family and when asked to imagine his home, he said. Sharon “might be awake, and there is a chance that he is conscious,” though due to paralysis suffered as a result of his stroke he cannot respond physically, he added.
“The patient is what we call ‘locked in,' he understands and responds with his brain but cannot activate any muscles.”
Friedman said Sharon's eyes were open for at least part of the time when he responded to the sight of family photographs.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar confirmed
- Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis
- Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- U.N. projects world’s population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 11.2 billion by end of century
- Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
- Obama celebrates gains, notes stalemates on visit to East Africa
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- Mexican human rights commission question government investigation into missing students
- U.S., Turkey plan for ‘safe zone’ free of ISIS in northern Syria
- Turks, Kurdish rebels deepen hostility