New Scans Reveal Ariel Sharon Brain Activity

January 28, 2013 12:07 pm 2 comments

Prof. Alon Friedman and the MRI Machine. Photo: Dani Machlis, Ben Gurion University

New tests conducted by Soroka University Medical Center on Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have revealed significant brain activity, according to a team of brain scientists. To the surprise of Ben Gurion University professors, Israeli doctors, and international neurologists, Sharon responded to a series of groundbreaking tests recently developed by Professor Martin Monti, from the Departments of Psychology and Neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sharon, who has been in a vegetative state since 2006 due to a massive stroke, underwent a special brain imaging MRI scan on Thursday, January 24 to assess the extent and quality of his brain processing.

According to an official statement from Ben Gurion University, “scientists showed Sharon photos of his family, made him listen to his son’s voice, and used tactile stimulation to see how his brain responded to the stimuli.”

To their astonishment, the scientists recorded significant brain activity in specific brain regions during the two hour test, “revealing appropriate processing of these stimuli.”

However, Professor Monti indicated that while other tests offered encouraging signs, “the evidence does not clearly indicate whether Sharon is consciously perceiving this information.”

Dr. Ilan Shelef, head of Medical Imaging at Soroka University Medical Center, added that the research being conducted on Sharon was at the forefront of brain science research, and served as the main motivation for purchase of a state of the art MRI machine by Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Center.

According to Professor Alon Friedman of the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience at Ben-Gurion University, these new methods must be made available to the large number of patients in Israel. “Knowing what sensory channels are intact in these patients is crucial for the family and the treating team to stimulate and interact with them.”

There are approximately 200 patients in Israel who are hospitalized in vegetative states.

Sharon, who will turn 85 years old next month, has been hospitalized for seven years in a vegetative state. After suffering a massive stroke in 2006, he was admitted to the Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Israel’s capital. Later he was moved to Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he remains comatose and connected to a respirator.

Sharon’s family wishes to employ these innovative techniques not only for the benefit of the former prime minister, but for other families in similar situations, according to Dr. Tzvi Ganel of Ben Gurion University, who initiated the project.

2 Comments

  • Lawrence Kulak

    There may be more significance to this than meets the eye. Sharon, as we all remember, was something of a military genius. The fact that his brain is being discovered active could be a divine hint to Israel that it better rev up its war machinery and readiness because they may have to use it very soon. But the fact that Sharon is even still around could have even more significance. It could be a divine sign that his hand was forced in Gaza by the Israeli electorate and that it was not his fault. He may be still alive as a testimonial to all the good he did for Israel during the wars and that Israel should stray from the political path that it had previously been on when it bent over backwards to seek peace with the evil and implacable of all enemies.

  • I am pleased with this news for various reasons. Most importantly it shows that there is still a glimmer of hope that Netanyahu will develop some brain activity.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    JNS.org – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show, “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an Arab-Jewish cooking school. MasterChef is a popular reality TV show that originated in the U.K. It is [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Theater Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel is seeking public support to help produce a musical based on his film about a British Muslim man who discovers his parents are Jewish. London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East is in development to premiere The Infidel in October, London’s Evening Standard reported on Wednesday. However, the theater needs another £55,000 on top of around £200,000 already raised in order to produce the show. Baddiel, 49, retained the stage rights to the story when he wrote the [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Relationships Love Guru Says Kaballah Practitioners Tend to Have ‘Less Satisfactory’ Relationships

    Love Guru Says Kaballah Practitioners Tend to Have ‘Less Satisfactory’ Relationships

    British relationship expert Andrew Wallas said Kaballah practitioners are likely to be less satisfied in their personal relationships than other couples, Britain’s Daily Mail reported Wednesday. “All the research is that individuals who have an interest in psychology or spirituality or who practice something like Kaballah (the branch of Jewish mysticism popularized by Madonna) are less likely to have satisfactory relationships,” he said. “A lifetime spent doing self-improvement workshops can just be a case of someone running away from reality.” [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Meet New York’s 6’7″ Jew Who Will Rap for You (VIDEO)

    Meet New York’s 6’7″ Jew Who Will Rap for You (VIDEO)

    He’s a 6’7″ Jewish freestyle rapper who roams the streets of New York delivering his rhymes to unsuspecting passersby. Te’Devan, who calls himself the “6’7″ Jew who will rap for you” was recently profiled by the Gothamist blog. In a video posted Monday on YouTube, as part of the website’s No Your City eight-part series created by Nicolas Heller, Te’Devan is seen rapping about “not trying to conform to the status quo” and his mission to “be what I’m supposed to be.” [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.