Ariel Sharon's brain shows activity

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains in a coma after 10 days.

Medical experts on the outside say that Sharon's failure to regain consciousness does not look well for his recovery.

On Wednesday, doctors began reducing the level of sedatives with the intent of drawing Sharon out of an induced coma. Hospital officials say that Sharon remains "lightly sedated", but are not sure when he will wake up once they stop giving him the sedatives.

New reports say an EEG has shown that Sharon has activity on both sides of his brain and doctors say that's the most "promising" signs they have had since they started to bring him out of the coma. Doctors also say that activity in both lobes doesn't indicate anything about the extent of the brain damage. "It is another piece of information that on its own means nothing," said Dr. Gal Ifergan, a neurologist at Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, who is not treating Sharon.

Although he has activity on both sides of his brain, Sharon could still have extensive brain damage, Ifergan said. He also said that it's "very worrisome that he hasn't woken from his coma", yet.

There are 2 major types of stroke, and Sharon has had both. The first was a mild stroke Dec. 18 caused by a blood clot that lodged in an artery in the brain, cutting off blood flow and causing minor damage. The second occurred just one day before he was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a hole in his heart. This one was a severe cerebral hemorrhage

"After nine days he has had very slow progress and that indicates more permanent injury to a level where his quality of life is affected," Dr. Demetrius Lopes, a Rush University Medical Center neurosurgeon said. "And then decisions will have to be made," he added.

Sharon's condition is still critical but stable.

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