Get the best of Newspaper delivered to your inbox daily

Most Viewed

Near-death experiences: New study sheds light

Collage Of Black And White Photosshare on pinterest
New research reveals what happens in the human brain at the time of death. bgwalker/Getty Images
  • What happens to the brain at the time of death has been a matter of debate for some time.
  • Some people who have had near-death experiences report the phenomenon of their “life shining before their eyes.”
  • In 2016, some doctors mistakenly recorded the brain activity of a dying man – having had a cardiac arrest – during a brain scan.
  • The brain signals recorded just before and after a heart stop are similar to those experienced when people recall memories and those recorded at death in rats.

Many people who have had near-death experiences report that their “Life flashed before their eyes.” Although, of course, it is impossible to determine whether people regularly experience this phenomenon when they die.

Health experts generally agree that clinical death occurs when the heart stops beating, but little is known about how long the brain survives or at least how long the brain has died. The signals continue to be sent after that.

Now, a paper in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience Analyzing a case study showed that brain signals persist for up to 30 seconds after the heart stops working.

However, Dr. Jessica Andrews-Hannah, assistant professor of cognition and the nervous system at the University of Arizona, who was not involved in the research, pointed out MNT in an email that the study may not generalize to other individuals, as it only reported the findings of an 87-year-old patient.

“Yet,” she said, “it is striking that the brain wave patterns leading to this man’s death were similar to those of memory, dreaming, and other thought processes associated with crosstalk between multiple brain regions.”

“Together, these findings offer a rare but tentative glimpse into the mind near its final moments.”

In the paper, researchers outline how an 87-year-old male patient admitted to a hospital in Vancouver, Canada in 2016 suffered brain bleeding after a fall. He was operated upon to treat a brain bleed, but after 2 days he started having seizures.

Healthcare professionals administered the anti-epileptic drugs phenytoin and levetiracetam to treat their seizures, and they had an EEG performed to determine the cause. While he was receiving the EEG, at least 12 separate electrographic seizures could be seen.

The patient then experienced cardiac arrest, and after consultation with his family, who explained that he had a “do not revive” order, his health team stopped treatment. However, they recorded a total of 900 seconds of EEG data.

The researchers found that brain activity throughout the brain stopped shortly after the seizure, followed by a 30-second increase in oscillatory activity with relatively high gamma-type brain signals before cardiac arrest. This activity decreased for about 30 seconds after cardiac arrest before stopping completely.

The author and neurosurgeon Dr. Ajmal Zemer, now a neurosurgeon at the University of Louisville, conducted the study. They told MNT in an interview:

“Our study is the first to show that these oscillatory waves present in the dying human brain may provide a neurophysiological substance, a brain signal form, in what we call a near-death experience.”

He was on the original team in Vancouver, Toronto at the time of the patient’s death.

The study leaves open the question of “when are we really dead?” He said, as his research showed brain activity after the heart stopped working.

However, the study authors point out that the findings of a single case study are not generalizable. He has no comparable brain activity to this patient, as he went into the scanner experiencing a brain attack. He also noted that he had received drugs that could alter brain activity and was generally unwell.

Researchers put off publishing the data until they found other comparative data.

A literature search turned up a 2013 paper that appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, This demonstrated that similar oscillatory gamma waves occurred in rats 30 seconds after cardiac arrest, and they were observable in this patient.

In the paper, the researchers present evidence that these brain signals are correlated with memory recall.

Health experts can determine whether these brain waves explain near-death experiences if we know where They occurred in the brain and were supported with more case studies, said neurotheologist Prof. Andrew Newberg said.

Pro. Newberg is also director of research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was not involved in the study.

They told MNT In an email: “This study certainly has neurotheological implications, as it may help us understand how different aspects of near-death experiences are linked to ongoing brain processes even after the heartbeat has stopped.” May go.”

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Thanks for submitting your comment!


    Get the best of Newspaper delivered to your inbox daily

    Most Viewed

    Related Stories