Scientists have uncovered the first evidence from the brain of a dying human, recording its activity and discovering rhythmic brain wave patterns around the time of death similar to those that occur during dreaming, memory retrieval and meditation, which may indicate what a person feels and sees in moments of dying.
The study was conducted by researchers from China, Estonia, Canada and the United States, and was published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, on Tuesday.
It was also reported by Technology Networks.
When an 87-year-old patient developed epilepsy, Dr. Raul Vicente, of the University of Tartu, Estonia, and colleagues used electroencephalography (EEG) to detect seizures and treat the patient.
During these recordings, the patient had a heart attack and died.
This unexpected event allowed scientists to record the activity of a dying human brain for the first time ever.
Live your whole life in a matter of seconds
Imagine living your whole life in a matter of seconds.
Like a flash of lightning, you are out of your body, witnessing unforgettable moments lived.
This process, known as "recovering life," can be similar to a near-death experience.
What happens inside your brain during these experiences and after death are questions that have puzzled neuroscientists for centuries.
However, the new study suggests that your brain may remain active and coordinated during the transition to and even after death.
"We measured 900 seconds of brain activity around the time of death and put a specific focus to investigate what happened in the 30 seconds before and after the heart stopped beating," said Dr. Ajmal Zammar, a neurosurgeon at the University of Louisville in the US who was involved in the study.
"Just before and just after the heart stopped working, we saw changes in a certain range of neural oscillations, so-called gamma oscillations, but we also saw them in other oscillations such as delta, theta, alpha and beta."
What does the dead see when dying?
Zammar speculated that, "By generating oscillations involved in memory retrieval, the brain may play the last recall of important life events just before our death, similar to those reported in NDEs... These findings challenge our understanding of exactly when life ends and generate subsequent questions." important, such as the timing of organ donation.
While this study is the first of its kind to measure living brain activity during the dying process in humans, similar changes in gamma oscillations have been observed in mice kept in controlled environments.
This means that, during death, the brain can regulate and carry out a biological response.
However, these measurements are based on a single case and stem from the brain of a patient who experienced injury, seizures, and swelling, which complicates interpretation of the data.
However, Zammar plans to investigate more cases and sees these results as a source of hope.
"As a neurosurgeon, I deal with loss at times," he said. "It is indescribably difficult to communicate a death to stunned family members. One thing we may learn from this research is that although our loved ones close their eyes and are ready to leave us... their brains may be replaying It showcased some of the best moments in their lives.
The researchers said the neurophysiological signature of brain activity after cardiac arrest and during a near-death experience is not well understood.
Although hypothetical brain activity is hypothesized, experimental animal studies have shown increased activity after cardiac arrest, particularly in the gamma-wavelength range, caused by excess carbon dioxide prior to cessation of cerebral blood flow after cardiac arrest.
No study has yet investigated this in humans.
Here, we present a continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) recording from a dying human brain, obtained from an 87-year-old patient undergoing cardiac arrest after a subdural hematoma. An absolute strength increase in gamma activity is observed in the narrow and wide ranges and a decrease in Theta force.
and "After cardiac arrest, delta, beta, alpha and gamma strengths decreased but a higher proportion of relative gamma strength was observed."
"Despite the impact of neuronal injury and swelling, our data provide the first evidence from the dying human brain in an on-experimental, real-life acute care clinical setting and advocate that the human brain may have the ability to Generating coordinated activity during the near-death period.
The findings suggest that the brain may go through a series of typical patterns of activity during death, particularly in gamma waves.
This may mean that the dying brain may experience certain activity associated with these waves, such as consciousness, mental processing, and cognition.
What are the types of brain waves?
There are 5 types of brain waves, gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta, which are responsible for many brain activities that affect us physically, psychologically and cognitively.
The gamma wave is the fastest activity of the brain.
It is responsible for cognitive performance, learning, memory, and information processing.
The emergence of this wave leads to anxiety, intense excitement and tension.
While suppressing it can lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and learning difficulties.
Gamma waves under optimal conditions aid attention, focus, sensory connections (smell, sight, hearing), awareness, mental processing, and cognition, according to Designing EEG Experiments for Studying the Brain, Design Code and Examples for Studying the Brain. Code and Example Datasets).
Beta waves are high frequency, low amplitude brain waves that are most commonly observed in the waking state.
It is involved in conscious and logical thinking, tends to have a stimulating effect, and getting the right amount of beta waves allows us to focus.
The prominence of this wave leads to anxiety, high agitation, inability to relax and tension, while its suppression can lead to ADHD, daydreaming, depression and cognitive impairment.
In optimal conditions, beta waves help with conscious focus, memory, and problem solving.
Alpha waves have a frequency range between beta and theta.
They help us calm down when necessary and promote feelings of deep relaxation.
Alpha waves are most prominently found in daydreams, inability to focus, and extreme relaxation.
If suppressed, it can cause anxiety, stress, and insomnia, but when it's at its best, it leads to a relaxed state.
This frequency range is involved in daydreaming and sleep.
ADHD, depression, hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention are observed when theta waves are prominent, and if they are suppressed, anxiety, poor emotional awareness and stress can be seen.
Ideally, theta aids in creativity, emotional connection, intuition, and relaxation.
Theta waves have benefits that make us feel more natural.
Delta waves are the slowest brain waves ever recorded in humans.
They are often found in infants and young children, and are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation.
Deltas are prominently seen in brain injuries, learning problems, inability to think, and severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
If this wave is suppressed, it leads to the inability to rejuvenate the body and revitalize the brain, and lack of sleep, but the adequate production of delta waves helps us feel fully rejuvenated and enhances the immune system, natural healing and deep sleep.Keywords: