NDE\'s and skeptics: Parnia's latest studies (Identity)

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 16, 2023, 19:45 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

From a large group of patients:


"According to findings published on September 14 in Resuscitation, the flatlined brains of some cardiac arrest patients burst into a flurry of activity during CPR, even though their heart stopped beating up to an hour. A small subset of study participants who survived were able to recall the experience, and one person was able to identify an audio stimulus that was played while doctors were trying to resuscitate them.

"The researchers interpret the brain recordings they made of these patients as markers of “lucid, recalled experiences of death”—an observation that has “never been possible before,” says lead author Sam Parnia, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health and a longtime researcher of what happens to people as they die. “We’ve also been able to put forward a coherent, mechanistic explanation for why this occurs.”


"Between May 2017 and March 2020, 567 people suffered cardiac arrests at participating hospitals. Medical staff managed to gather usable brain oxygen and activity data from 53 of these patients, most of whom showed an electrical flatline state on electroencephalographic (EEG) brain monitors. But about 40 percent then experienced electrical activity that reemerged at some point with normal to near-normal brain waves that were consistent with consciousness. This activity was sometimes restored up to 60 minutes into CPR.

"Of the 567 total patients, just 53 survived. The researchers conducted interviews with 28 of the survivors. They also interviewed 126 people from the community who had gone through cardiac arrests because the sample size of survivors from the new study was so small. Nearly 40 percent reported some perceived awareness of the event without specific memories attached, and 20 percent seemed to have had a recalled experience of death. Many in the latter group described the event as a “moral evaluation” of “their entire life and how they’ve conducted themselves,” Parnia says.


"He and his colleagues have developed a working hypothesis to explain their findings. Normally, the brain has “braking systems” in place that filter most elements of brain function out of our experience of consciousness. This enables people to efficiently operate in the world, because under regular circumstances, “you couldn’t function with access to your whole brain’s activity being in the realm of consciousness,” he says.

"In the dying brain, however, the researchers hypothesize that the braking system is removed. Parts that are normally dormant become active, and the dying person gains access to their entire consciousness—“all your thoughts, all your memories, everything that’s been stored before,” Parnia says. “We don’t know the evolutionary benefit of this, but it seems to prepare people for their transition from life into death.”

"The findings also raise questions about the brain’s resiliency to oxygen deprivation. It could be, Parnia says, that some people who have conventionally been thought to be beyond the point of saving could in fact be revived. “The traditional thinking among doctors is that the brain, once deprived of oxygen for five to 10 minutes, dies,” he says. “We were able to show that the brain is quite robust in terms of its ability to resist oxygen deprivation for prolonged periods of time, which opens up new pathways for finding treatments for brain damage in the future.”

"The new study “represents a Herculean effort to understand as objectively as possible the nature of brain function as it may apply to consciousness and near-death experiences during cardiac arrest,” says Lakhmir Chawla, an intensive care unit physician at Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego, Calif., who was not involved in the research but has published papers on spikes of EEG activity at the time of death in some patients."

Comment: this study assumes that what the patient experiences in directly related to brain activity. This is in sharp contrast to Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who experienced prolonged coma with no EEG activity yet had a prolonged experience in what he recalled as 'heaven' with a guardian angel who looked exactly like his sister. Since he was adopted, he had never known her in his life. Research after his recovery revealed her.

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