Do near death experiences exist? A study thinks so

A new study shows that brain activity continues even after cardiac arrest. Above all, it helps to better understand near-death experiences.

A white light, shadows reaching out, a retrospective of the most beautiful memories… Many people recount their strange experience when they came close to death. We call this A near-death experience. So far, science never really knew what happened during those strange moments. Have these people seen the afterlife? Their brain did he make it all up? Was it a hallucination ? Neither, according to the AWARE II study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences beginning of 2022 and presented in October at the congress on resuscitation in Chicago in the United States.

In activity until more than 30 min after cardiac arrest

A team of researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine wanted to know what’s going on in the brain just before death. To do this, she analyzed brain activity of people followed in 25 hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States. A total of 567 men and women, who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) between May 2017 and March 2020, were included in the cohort. To better study brain activity, the researchers placed sensors on their skulls to perform electroencephalograms. Thanks to this device, they were able to notice that the brain continued to function in these patients up to more than half an hour after cardiac arrest.

“An experience of inner consciousness”

In this study, people who escaped death told researchers that they had felt a separation from their body or have observed events “without pain or distress”, reads a press release published on November 7. For the authors, it is neither a question ofhallucinationsneither of delusions, nor of illusions, and even less of dreams.

“These similar experiences and brain wave changes may be early signs of the so-called near-death experience, and we’ve captured them for the first time in a large study,” said Dr. Sam Parnia, lead author. “Our results offer evidence that when near death and in a coma, people have a unique experience of inner awareness, including distress-free awareness.” He adds : These lucid experiences cannot be considered a ruse of a messy or dying brain, but rather a unique human experience emerging from the brink of death.”

When the brain gradually shuts down, natural braking systems are released, giving access “to the depths of consciousness of a person, including stored memories, thoughts from infancy to death, and other aspects of reality”the statement said.

For the authors, if no study has been able to prove the reality or the significance of this phenomenon, it is not no longer possible to deny its existence. As a result, a new avenue is opening up for scientists curious to know a little more about near-death experiences.

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Do near death experiences exist? A study thinks so

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