– Researchers have made an astonishing discovery that has long been considered a scientific impossibility. Unexplained brain activity has been detected in a patient who was declared clinically dead.
To determine if a person is dead, doctors rely on EEG reading. The heart can be beating and the person can still be breathing, but the moment the brain stops to process electrical signals, the person is considered clinically dead. In some cases, a person can also be labeled brain dead.
But what if a person’s heart stops beating, meaning there is no blood flow to the brain, and the brain continues to show delta wave bursts for up to ten minutes?
Scientists have previously said it’s impossible, but a very strange case offers evidence there is still a lot we don’t know about our mysterious brain.
While studying the process of death in humans, researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada have discovered a unique case.
When life support was turned off for four terminal patients, their vital signs were monitored for a length of time. Three of the patients ceased emitting brain signals almost immediately after their hearts stopped, but one of the patients showed persistent brain activity even after being declared clinically dead. The brain signals continued for 10 minutes and 38 seconds.
“In one patient, single delta wave bursts persisted following the cessation of both the cardiac rhythm and arterial blood pressure (ABP),” scientists wrote in their published study.
The team conducted a series of tests to be absolutely certain the brain activity was not caused by equipment malfunction, but no problems were found.
The research team says this is a very unusual event and acknowledge that they have no explanation for what they observed.
They also point out that it’s possible other people who have been declared dead have also experienced brain activity after death as well, but no one has bothered to look for it.
Although this case is very interesting, scientists remain cautious about the implications and say it’s too early to speculate about what this could mean for our post-death experience.