Brain Activity Can Continue After Death

Posted: Mar 13 2017, 11:30am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 13 2017, 9:07pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 

Brain Activity can Continue After Death
Credit: Salk Institute
 

There's new evidence that the brain may still work after we die.

How long does it take the brain to stop working after death? It’s a question that we don’t yet have a proper answer to. However, the information is critical for saving many lives. 

Canadian doctors studying brain activity in recently dead patients have found that brain can continue functioning even after death. They have documented a case in which a patient’s brain remained active for more than 10 minutes after he had been pronounced dead.

Researchers acknowledge that this is an extremely unusual event and they have no explanation for it.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and provides a detailed account of an routine examination of death process in four terminal patients in London Health Sciences Centre at Ontario, Canada who were removed from the life support and their vital signs for monitored for a while. 

A person who is brain dead may appear alive – his heart might beat in a pattern or he may look like breathing. But researchers say there is no life when brain activity stops. In this case, they have observed totally opposite. Three of the patients stopped emitting brain signals almost immediately after they were moved out of intensive care. But the fourth’s brain did not stop working. Instead it continued emitting waves for around 10 minutes and these signals were received by EEG monitor that has been normally used in intensive care units.

Researchers rechecked the equipment to see whether it is working properly and not malfunctioned and after finding no problem, researchers reported the unusual event but they could not provide any explanation for it.

Because the small-scale study involved just four patients, it cannot be generalized. Researchers suggest that further studies are needed to understand the phenomena and to draw any conclusions.

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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