An Israeli TV station reported late Thursday that there has been a slight improvement in former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition, but the hospital refused to comment.

Channel 10 TV reported the change, but Sharon remained comatose. He has been unconscious since suffering a massive stroke in January 2006. He is hospitalized in the long-term section of Sheba Medical Center, just outside Tel Aviv.

Spokesman David Weinberg said the medical center would not comment on the report, adding that the hospital's policy is to make public any changes in Sharon's condition.

Sharon turned 79 last month, the second birthday he has passed while unconscious. Doctors have said for months that Sharon is not expected to recover.