TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel's ex-leader shows progress

AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) This picture taken on November 23, 2005 shows Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon attending a Parliament session in Jerusalem. Israel's Ariel Sharon could be moved from the hospital bed where he has lain in a coma for nearly five years, to be cared for on his family farm, hospital officials said on November 10, 2010. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

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

Most-Read World

  1. Bad day for Israel: U.N. criticizes West Bank settlements; Hamas off EU terror list
  2. Russia acts to stanch ruble’s plummet
  3. Kurdish Iraqi forces battle ISIS to try to clear way to Syrian border
  4. Russia acts to stanch plummet of ruble’s value
  5. Grief in Pakistan over school rampage turns to anger toward military
  6. Hong Kong teen activists vow they’ll refuse food
  7. Taliban siege at Pakistani school ends with 141 dead
  8. Palestinian who attacks Israeli family with acid at West Bank intersection then shot
  9. FBI issues alert on Iranian hackers
  10. Americans, Belgians gather in Ardennes to mark 70th anniversary of Battle of the Bulge
  11. Landslide sweeps away homes in Indonesia
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.