"New dimensions of reality": Near-death experiences persisted for an hour after patients' hearts stopped, neuroscientists reveal

Neuroscience continues to reveal the reality of "near-death experiences." New research led by New York University showed that ", some patients revived by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had clear memories afterward of experiencing death and while unconscious had brain patterns linked to thought and memory." Amazingly, nearly 40 percent of the patients who survived had "normal" or "nearly normal" brain wave activity, as recorded by EEG. even an hour after their hearts stopped and they were undergoing CPR. From NYU Langone Health:

Survivors have long reported having heightened awareness and powerful, lucid experiences, say the study authors. These have included a perception of separation from the body, observing events without pain or distress, and a meaningful evaluation of their actions and relationships. The new work found these experiences of death to be different from hallucinations, delusions, illusions, dreams, or CPR-induced consciousness.

The study authors hypothesize that the "flatlined," dying brain removes natural inhibitory (braking) systems. These processes, known collectively as disinhibition, may open access to "new dimensions of reality," they say, including lucid recall of all stored memories from early childhood to death, evaluated from the perspective of morality. While no one knows the evolutionary purpose of this phenomenon, it "opens the door to a systematic exploration of what happens when a person dies."

"Although doctors have long thought that the brain suffers permanent damage about 10 minutes after the heart stops supplying it with oxygen, our work found that the brain can show signs of electrical recovery long into ongoing CPR," said senior study author Sam Parnia, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health. "This is the first large study to show that these recollections and brain wave changes may be signs of universal, shared elements of so called near-death experiences."