Terrifying Study Says Your Brain Is Still Alive Even After You’re Dead And Knows You’re Dead

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Well here’s a horrifying possibility to think about. You may die and your body is completely unresponsive and lifeless, but your brain may stay alive long enough after your death to realize that you’re dead. Your brain would essentially be a prisoner in your own body and you would be absolutely helpless to do anything about it. That is the terrifying proposition that is published on the Live Science website.

In an interview with Dr. Sam Parnia, a pulmonologist who studies resuscitation, he said the human brain may still be fully functional for a while after death even though it is no longer receiving blood from the motionless heart. Dr. Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at New York’s NYU Langone School of Medicine, and his team revealed their spine-chilling and fascinating research this week.

After the heart stops beating, it takes up to 20 seconds before brain waves are no longer detectable. If the heart doesn’t supply the brain with new blood for long enough, the brain goes dead. “If you manage to restart the heart, which is what CPR attempts to do, you’ll gradually start to get the brain functioning again. The longer you’re doing CPR, those brain cell death pathways are still happening—they’re just happening at a slightly slower rate,” Parnia told LiveScience.

“At the same time, we also study the human mind and consciousness in the context of death, to understand whether consciousness becomes annihilated or whether it continues after you’ve died for some period of time — and how that relates to what’s happening inside the brain in real time,” the doctor said.

That means a nightmare scenario where the dead person is actually still alive in the brain department, but they could hear and understand conversations by doctors and loved ones declaring them dead. There are documented cases of people being declared dead by medical professionals, but then being revived and those individuals being able to recover and tell exactly what was said when they were declared to be deceased.

“They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working and they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,” Parnia said.

There is a 2014 study that actually backs this insane possibility. In the study, physicians interviewed over 100 people who had gone into cardiac arrest, but were successfully resuscitated. Of those who came back from their near-death experience, 39 of the 100 people described being completely aware of the dire situation. This sounds absolutely frightening if you aren’t actually brought back to life and you know you’re going to die, but you’re unable to communicate with anyone as they weep for you.


Paul Sacca has written on a myriad of topics ranging from breaking news to movies to technology to men's interests for nearly a decade. His articles have been cited in numerous media powerhouses such as USA Today, New York Daily News, New York Post, CNN, Sports Illustrated, Huffington Post, Deadspin, and The Big Lead.