You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Israel’s comatose Sharon showing brain activity

JERUSALEM — A team of Israeli and US scientists has announced that pioneering tests on comatose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon show significant brain activity.

Officials at Ben-Gurion University said Sunday that Sharon, 84, responded to external stimuli at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba last week.

Continue reading below

During two hours of testing, Sharon was shown pictures of his family and listened to recordings of his son’s voice while undergoing a special brain imaging scan. The university said ‘‘significant brain activity was observed . . . indicating appropriate processing of these stimulations.’’

However, the former leader remains in a deep coma, and the tests did not indicate whether his brain is processing the information.

Sharon led Israel from 2001 until suffering a stroke in 2006. Since then, he has been in a vegetative state, connected to a respirator.

He had a storied military career, fighting three wars before entering politics. He unilaterally withdrew Israeli troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005.

The team of neuroscientists who tested Sharon included professor Martin Monti from the University of California Los Angeles. They developed the tests that were used on the former prime minister.

Sharon has been in Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv since 2006. He was taken to the Soroka Hospital in Tel Aviv for MRI scans on Thursday.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of