Israeli sources reported on Monday evening that senior physicians treating the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, said that he had responded to pain stimulus, and had shown slight movement in his right arm and right leg.
Doctors began to reduce Sharon’s sedation on Monday morning, after which he had started to breath on his own.
Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Hadassah Hospital director, said that Sharon’s blood pressure rose during stimulation – which is considered a positive sign – and he moved his hand.
"It was a small movement, but a significant one" he said, "He also moved his leg".
Also, Dr. Felix Umansky, the head of the team that has operated on n Sharon three times since his massive stroke, said that the movement was a clear reaction to pain, and not a reflex.
"This, together with the slight elevation of his blood pressure as a reaction to the pain, is a sign of some activity of his brain", Umansky added.
He also said that, so far, Sharon had not opened his eyes.
Meanwhile, the damage caused by the stroke, and whether it caused any cognitive damage or paralysis in the left side of the body will be determined in several days.
Earlier on Monday, doctors said that Sharon had begun breathing on his own after his sedation was reduced, but that his condition remains critical and he was still hooked up to a respirator.
The level of sedation is to be reduced gradually, and could take hours or even days.
Physicians in Hadassah were likely to gradually reduce the activity of the respirator, to measure the extent that Sharon was capable of maintaining his respiration rate independently.