Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 March 2015

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon shows signs of significant brain activity say doctors

Scientists say new tests on former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon show significant brain activity
Scientists say new tests on former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon show significant brain activity

Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who suffered a huge stroke seven years ago that has since left him in a vegetative state, has shown signs of significant brain activity say doctors treating the 84 year-old.

Mr Sharon - Israel's leader between 2001 and 2006 -is unlikely that he will wake from the coma he has been in since suffering the stroke, say doctors, but that the results of a medical examination last Thursday were "encouraging".

Mr Sharon "might be awake, and there is a chance that he is conscious," Alon Friedman, a neurological director at Israel's Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba told Reuters. "To some extent the patient is what we call 'locked in', he understands and responds with his brain but cannot activate any muscles."

Mr Sharon's career was marked by controversy. As a candidate before the 2001 general election, he visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, the world's holiest place for Jews, and the site of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Some observers argue that the visited sparked the Second Intifada, but defenders of Mr Sharon say the Palestinian uprising had already been planned.

A career soldier who reached the rank of Major-General in the Israeli Defence Force, in 2003 he withdrew from the Gaza Strip, a move that was welcomed by both the Palestinian Authority and Israel's left.

However, a year after leaving Likud and forming a new centrist party, Kadima, he was struck in January 2006 by the stroke that has since left him needing constant medical care.

Dr Friedman said that the former prime minister's eyes were open for some of last week's assessment, and that he responded to the sight of family photographs. "The results of the tests are not clear but encouraging, and they surprised us," he added.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz