Science & Technology
Comatose patients 'internally awakened' as they died, study finds
By T.K. Randall
May 4, 2023 · 1 comment
Can a comatose brain 'wake up' as it dies ? Image Credit: Pixabay / sciencefreak
Researchers found signs of 'conscious-like' brain activity in patients who passed away while in a coma.
Seeing events flashing before your eyes, observing a bright light at the end of a tunnel or feeling as though you are floating above your own body are just some of the things commonly described by patients who have had a near-death experience.
But what exactly is the experience of someone who dies while in a comatose state ?
In a recent study, researchers analyzed EEG brain scans recorded during the final moments of four patients who were comatose and unresponsive after suffering from suspected seizures.
Their findings were surprising - two of the patients exhibited an increase in heart rate followed by a surge in brain activity associated with consciousness.
According to study leader Jimo Borjiginof the University of Michigan, this could indicate that the patients had been 'internally awakened' at that time.
"How vivid experience can emerge from a dysfunctional brain during the process of dying is a neuroscientific paradox," he said.
"We saw potential neuro-signatures of consciousness."
"It may be activating internal covert consciousness, bringing out memories of the past, it could be a brain survival mechanism, we don't know."
Source: The Guardian
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