People are aware of when they die

Henrietta Brewer
October 21, 2017

The team is examining what happens after the heart stops and how much brain the brain continues to function afterwards.

The study has expanded to include the United States and Europe to investigate consciousness after death and how it may impact the remainder of a person's life after they are revived.

Dr Sam Parnia and her team from New York University Langone School of Medicine had the same question.

A recent study shows that even though the the body is dead the brain works actively and that's how the mind is alive even after the death of the human. According to Parnia, these recollections were then verified by medical and nursing staff who were present at the time and were stunned to hear that their patients, who were technically dead, could remember all those details.


Parnia told Live Science that once the heart stops beating, oxygen-carrying blood stops going to the brain, and brain function, including thought, stops soon after.

Some of those studied say they had awareness of full conversations and seeing things that were going on around them, even after they were pronounced dead.

The evidence collected by the researchers suggests a surge of brain activity just after death which is considered as the near-death experience.

"Once that happens, blood no longer circulates to the brain, which means brain function halts nearly instantaneously". The brain's cerebral cortex - which is responsible for thinking and processing information from the five senses - also instantly flatlines. Once the heart is no longer pumping blood throughout the body, cells begin to suffocate and die - including brain cells.


They're also looking for better methods of monitoring the brain beyond the threshold of death, Live Science reported, and improving resuscitation techniques to better prevent brain injury. However, this can take hours after the heart has stopped. That's why the experiences of people who are successfully resuscitated are so fascinating. This is enough to slow the brain cells' death trajectory, but it isn't enough to kick-start the brain into working again, which is why reflexes don't resume during CPR, he said.

Studying the brain activity of dying rats may have shed light on the mystery of human near death experiences.

In 2013, researchers at the University of MI observed activity patterns consistent with a "hyper-alerted state" in the brains of nine rats in which heart attacks had been induced.

In a 2014 study, physicians interviewed over 100 people who had gone into cardiac arrest and been successfully resuscitated: 39 percent of them described a perception of awareness, even if they couldn't recount specifics.


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