Israeli ex-PM in Coma ‘Shows Brain Activity’

Jan 28 2013 / 9:49 pm

Seven years after suffering a massive stroke, comatose ex-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has surprised his doctors by displaying “a certain degree of consciousness,” said an expert who examined him using an MRI scan.

The results of tests conducted by a joint Israeli-American team on Sunday did not mean the former general and right-wing politician 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 US neurologist, Martin Monti, of the University of California Los Angeles, scanned Sharon’s brain to test its function, Friedman told the Reuters news agency.

“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 also when asked to imagine his home, he said.

These findings suggest that despite Sharon’s comatose state, “he might be listening, and some important information goes into his brain and is being processed,” Friedman said.

Tests ‘Encouraging’

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.

“To some extent 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.

More surprising were signs the machine showed that Sharon had processed a request to imagine various scenes such as his home, Friedman said, adding that Sharon’s brain had also shown signs of responding to his son, Gilad’s voice.

“The results of the tests are not clear but encouraging, and they surprised us,” Friedman said, adding he saw the results as contributing to data about potential stimuli scientists hope may someday help them awaken certain patients from a coma.

“This is futuristic, and not the case at the moment,” he said.

Sharon’s stroke felled him at a critical juncture in Israeli politics. His illness came just weeks after he made a dramatic exit from the right-wing Likud.

(Agencies and Aljazeera – www.aljazeera.net)

image_pdfimage_print
Posted by on Jan 28 2013 . Filed under News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Comment

Please insert the correct number.


7 + 2 =

The Free Zone | Blog

  • July 31, 2015

    Hamas: 'Settlers, Soldiers' Legitimate Targets after Infant Killing

    Palestinian political factions strongly condemned an arson attack carried out by settlers which killed a Palestinian infant on Friday, holding the Israeli leadership fully responsible for the brutal attack and calling for revenge. - Hamas said that the killing of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha in the Nablus village of Duma makes all "Israeli soldiers and settlers legitimate targets for resistance." - A spokesperson for... More →
  • July 31, 2015

    EU Calls on Israel to Halt Settlement Expansion

    In the wake of the Israeli government's announcement that it is going to build more than 800 new housing units in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the EU has called on Israel to halt all such expansion. The Europeans believe that an increase in the size of the illegal settlements, reported Qudsnet, undermines the prospects for an end to the conflict based on a two-state solution. - "The latest... More →
  • July 31, 2015

    Ultra-Orthodox Jew Stabs at Least 6 at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

    At least six people were stabbed at an LGBT pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, local media reported, citing Israeli police and paramedics. The suspected attacker, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, has been arrested. - Police said that six people have been injured, adding that two of them were in serious condition. - "We were prepared for every scenario, but our perimeter was breached. This is a severe, hard incident, which... More →
  • July 30, 2015

    Israel Moves to Legalize Gitmo-style Force-feeding of Hunger Strikers

    The Israeli parliament has passed a bill that allows the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who resort to hunger strikes to protest their administrative detention without charge. The national medical association said the procedure amounts to torture. - The 120-seat Knesset approved the controversial bill, with 46 legislators in favor and 40 against it. Called “Law to prevent harm caused by hunger strikes,” it... More →
  • July 30, 2015

    Hamas Rejects Fatah's Demand to Hand over Rule of Gaza

    Hamas officials on Wednesday rejected demands by Fatah leadership to hand over rule of the Gaza Strip and called for an "uprising" against Palestinian Authority security forces. - Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad had said on Sunday that Hamas "foiled" efforts towards a unity government, and that the group must hand over rule of the Gaza Strip as a condition for forming the new government. - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri... More →
Support Palestine Chronicle
Support Palestine Chronicle
"The Palestine Chronicle is a beacon. History, witness, analysis and ways forward are here, written with authority and humanity. Long may it publish." — John Pilger.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Enter your email address to subscribe to our mailing list.
Email:
separator
Chief Complaint
Return: A Palestinian Memoir
Idea of Israel
Disclaimer RSS Feed Contact us Donation Popup
© Copyright 1999-2015 PalestineChronicle.com. All rights reserved
Powered By MediaSeniors