A team of scientists from the University of Charite in Berlin (Germany) and the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio, in the US, led by Jens Dreier, found astonishing information about the brain’s behavior before and after death.
The team of neurologists studied the brain activity of 9 terminally-ill patients and noticed that a significant burst of activity occurs at the moments right before dying. Such a discovery indicates that brain’s state of consciousness could be present even after dying, despite that fact the other organs in the body are completely shut down.
Even more, the scientists are now considering that they can prevent and even reverse the brain from shutting down itself.
The brain is still alive after death
The team of neurologists believed they can observe the events that occur in the brain and in the body during death by placing electrodes inside the subjects’ brains.
They revealed that the brain, along with all its cells and neurons, is still running as usual, despite the fact that the heart is not beating.
In addition, a “brain tsunami”, called “spreading depression” by the scientists, occurred when brain’s cells and neurons shut down, eventually, at more than 5 minutes after the moment of the physical death.
The brain dies, in its turn, when neurons deplete the energy from their reserves
“After the circulatory arrest, the diffusion of depolarization – the diminution of the neuron’s potential – marks the loss of electrochemical energy stored in brain cells and the appearance of toxic processes that eventually lead to death. It is important to note that it is reversible, to a certain extent, when the circulation is restored,” explained Jens Dreier.
When the blood in the body stops flowing, the neurons and the other brain cells use the energy stocked in reserves but, when this depletes, the neurons and the brain, of course, shut down forever.
After studying the brain’s behavior before and after death, the scientists concluded that the neurons’ burst, spreading depression, is, in fact, the moment of the “true death”.