Near-death brain signaling accelerates demise of the heart

Apr 19, 2015

By Science Daily

What happens in the moments just before death is widely believed to be a slowdown of the body’s systems as the heart stops beating and blood flow ends.

But a new laboratory study by the University of Michigan Medical School reveals a storm of brain activity that erupts as the heart deteriorates that may play a surprising destabilizing role in heart function.

This near-death brain signaling may be targeted to help cardiac arrest patients survive. Most of the more than 400,000 Americans who experience cardiac arrest die without immediate help.

“Despite the loss of consciousness and absence of signs of life, internally the brain exhibits sustained, organized activity and increased communication with the heart, which one may guess is an effort to save the heart,” says senior study author Jimo Borjigin, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology.


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22 comments on “Near-death brain signaling accelerates demise of the heart

  • The dying of the life force; no small matter.

    Just thinking about everything that’s occurred since conception; all the cell divisions – many thousands a minute over many tens of decades – all the heart beats, detoxification and passing of waste matter – and all the rest that enable life to continue – it’s no wonder that the system puts up a fight at the last.

    Life is wonderful; and it’s beginning to look increasingly as if it could so easily have never occurred at all.

    Better get on and make the most of it!



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  • Atheism is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    If atheism were an ideology (but alas, it is not!), perhaps it could serve as an aphrodisiac.

    Maybe “scientism” is the word you were after?



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  • Doug
    Apr 20, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Maybe “scientism” is the word you were after?

    That is a word to use with great caution, because of its ambiguity and common misuse, conflating definitions 1 and 2.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scientism

    Definition of SCIENTISM

    1
    methods and attitudes typical of, or attributed to the natural scientist.

    2
    an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities)



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  • I don’t do lengthy debates on split infinitives. It’s way above my pay grade. And inserting the word “Scientism” with all its’ derogatory connotations, oft used by the religious, as a comment of this simple statement about living this one life we have to fullest is a long bow.

    I like the statement. It’s simple. Everyone understands the thrust of the comment, so while it might not technically tick all the boxes, I will continue to drop it in polite company. Always a good conversation starter. It makes a mockery of the deeply religious who waste an entire lifetime in preparation for a non existent afterlife.



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  • The prefix “A” means not, or without; that’s all it means.

    It’s the World view unfettered by superstition, providing the freedom to think for yourself, and wonder at it all, and at times be fearful, without having to make things up, and pretend to know that which cannot, as yet, be known; and indeed, may never be known.

    It’s a bollocks free zone, which to make the most of you need balls.



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  • That is a word to use with great caution…

    Yes, I know. But there’s no need for concern. I used it with great caution.

    I find it interesting (and inconsistent) that there are not similar admonishments regarding use of “atheism”, another word prone to “ambiguity and common misuse”.

    But no need to dwell on it. This discussion is about something else entirely.



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  • Doug
    Apr 20, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    That is a word to use with great caution…

    Yes, I know. But there’s no need for concern. I used it with great caution.

    Those using it with caution, usually indicate which definition they have in mind.

    Personally I think ambiguous terms are best avoided unless definitions are clearly spelled out.

    Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of gods. The word stems from the Greek a- meaning “without”, and theos meaning “god”.



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  • I don’t do lengthy debates on split infinitives.

    ?? (Okay.)

    Always a good conversation starter.

    Indeed!

    It makes a mockery of the deeply religious who waste an entire lifetime in preparation for a non existent afterlife.

    This is not necessarily true.



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  • …without having to make things up, and pretend to know that which cannot, as yet, be known; and indeed, may never be known.

    That sounds more like agnosticism.

    …which to make the most of you need balls.

    So those of us lacking such (literally or figuratively) are just out of luck? (Maybe we should just make them up?)



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  • Literally or figuratively? What do you think I meant Doug? Balls…and…ovaries; ovaries…and…balls; no, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

    Although I think my meaning was clear, I’ll spell it out:

    We can accept and live life as it is, or, live a make-believe diminished life.

    OK?



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  • We’re down to semantics now, but never mind.

    Agnostic is a term invented by Thomas Henry Huxley, and it causes confusion.

    The word simply means a lack of belief in gnosis, or mystical knowledge.

    Both words basically means non believers, or, infidel.

    The distinction between them which has grown however is a false one, in that it holds that Atheists know no god exists but Agnostics aren’t certain.

    But of course, it’s impossible to prove a negative, no matter what badge you’re wearing.



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  • Personally I think ambiguous terms are best avoided unless definitions are clearly spelled out.

    Each and every time? (Sure, that’s reasonable.)

    Which definition of “scientism” do you think best fits the context of David’s statement? (I think either one fits, so you can have it either way.)



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  • Doug
    Apr 21, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Personally I think ambiguous terms are best avoided unless definitions are clearly spelled out.

    Each and every time? (Sure, that’s reasonable.)

    It certainly is reasonable to be clear about what is being stated.

    Which definition of “scientism” do you think best fits the context of David’s statement?

    I have already implied that neither is suitable, because they are contradictory and only generate ambiguity.

    (I think either one fits, so you can have it either way.)

    That would only lead to time wasting arguing about irrelevant semantics of a self contradictory claim, along with vague ignorance based insinuations about scientific methodology, while adding nothing to the OP subject matter.



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  • 20
    Katelyn says:

    That was beautiful! After reading this article and your comment I now feel a deeper respect for my body and being alive. It’s amazing the ways in which our bodies automatically fight until the end. I will never fully understand consciousness for what it is, the least of which is my own existence on the universal scale. It’s terrifying!



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  • Literally thousands of words can have different senses in different contexts, just open a dictionary.

    Do we have to avoid using all these words?

    Oops. Literally….

    1In a literal manner or sense; exactly:

    1.1 informal Used for emphasis while not being literally true:

    Maybe we should literally start by banning those pesky words which can have opposite meanings!



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  • I have already implied that neither is suitable, because they are contradictory and only generate ambiguity.

    1- Scientism [methods and attitudes typical of, or attributed to the natural scientist] is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    2- Scientism [an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities)] is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    See how perfectly well they each fit into the statement? And I see no contradiction or ambiguity.

    Whereas the word “atheism” might mean…

    1 : archaic : ungodliness, wickedness

    2a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

    2b : the doctrine that there is no deity

    Atheism [ungodliness, wickedness] is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    (That certainly can’t be right.)

    Atheism [a disbelief in the existence of deity] is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    Atheism [the doctrine that there is no deity] is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    (Neither rings quite as true as either of the above “scientism” alternatives.)

    So, does David mean definition 2a or 2b? I can’t be certain, and he didn’t define his term.

    Of course, it’s possible he intended your provided meaning:

    Atheism [a lack of belief in gods] is a great aphrodisiac for life.

    But this just leads back to my original question/suggestion, as it seems nonsensical that a “lack of belief” in anything would have aphrodisiac properties.

    (In David’s response, below, there may be a clue to his actual meaning. Based on it, I think “antitheism” would have been a better suggestion than “scientism”.)

    And then there’s the word “aphrodisiac”. Now there’s a(nother) word that should be “used with great caution”. Did David mean:

    1 – an agent (as a food or drug) that arouses or is held to arouse sexual desire
    or
    2 – a thing that causes excitement

    I really can’t be sure.



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