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Ariel Sharon Shows More Improvement


Doctors treating Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon say his condition continues to improve and there is no immediate threat to his life.

Ariel Sharon's doctors say he showed movement on his left side for the first time since he suffered a massive stroke and cerebral hemorrhage last week. They also say when one of his sons spoke to him there was a noticeable rise in Mr. Sharon's blood pressure. Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the Director of Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital says Mr. Sharon continues to show a slight improvement.

"Prime Minister Sharon moved his right hand and leg in a bigger amount than yesterday [Monday]," Dr. Mor-Yosef said. "Prime Minister started to move his left arm as well. The plan for the next 24 hours is to continue a reduction in the amount of anesthetic drugs and evaluate his neurological condition."

Dr. Mor-Yosef says Mr. Sharon is breathing spontaneously and his blood pressure, urine output, and fever levels are within normal limits. He says while medical tests indicate a slight improvement in Mr. Sharon's neurological functions, he remains in critical-but-stable condition.

The movement on the prime ministers left side is regarded as significant because Mr. Sharon's stroke is believed to have severely damaged the right side of his brain, which controls the left side of his body.

Doctors are testing a variety of sensory options on Mr. Sharon, including playing Mozart symphonies and placing some of his favorite foods in his room, in an attempt to elicit some sort of a response. They say while they will continue to reduce the amount of anesthesia Mr. Sharon is receiving, it will likely be days before they have any idea of how badly damaged Mr. Sharon's brain is from the stroke he suffered.