Officials at Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center said Sunday that "significant" brain activity was detected during tests performed on former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
According to medical officials, this activity was detected during each of the MRI scans and in the "matching" areas of the brain.
Sharon suffered a stroke seven years ago. Soroka officials said he has never been diagnosed as suffering from a coma and that his diagnosis has been determined as "minimal conscious level."
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On Thursday Sharon was tested at Soroka with a Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) machine. During the two-hour examination, Sharon was shown photos of family members and doctors played a recording of his son Gilad's voice in order to check if and to what extent his brain responds to external stimulation.
The tests' findings showed "significant" brain activity. Additional tests were performed to determine Sharon's awareness to his surroundings, but they did not give a clear indication that the former premier is in fact aware of his surroundings.
Sharon's former aide, Raanan Gissin, said over the weekend that the brain scans appeared to give a glimmer of hope for some improvement in the former premier's condition. "The test was routine, but the results not entirely so," Gissin said. "There was some kind of positive indication."
Sharon, 84, was admitted to the world-renowned Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem after suffering a massive stroke on January 4, 2006.
He was moved to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and has remained there in serious but stable condition ever since.
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