© Unsplash/Robina Weermeijer
A study published on Science Direct reveals the precise workings of what the latter call 'the wave of death'. To fully understand what it is, here is what the researchers claim to have observed. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, they first notice a decrease in electrical activity.
So far nothing surprising. After all, don't we say that death is characterized by a “flat electroencephalogram” ? After a certain time, however, an electric wave coming from of the deepest layers of the brain causes a sudden and fleeting burst of activity. Which is in fact a sort of electrical wave prelude to the cessation of all cerebral activity.
What is “ ;the wave of death” and why this discovery is important ?
When resuscitation occurs in time, another “wave” similar, of great amplitude, causes a gradual increase in activity. This is what scientists call the 'resuscitation wave'. Neurons that seemed dead are reactivated. This discovery implies that brain death is a much more complex phenomenon than previously thought.
And above all that it is potentially reversible. Furthermore, researchers now understand the starting point of this wave: the depolarization of pyramidal neurons buried in the neocortex – which they were able to verify experimentally by injection of an inhibitor as they explain in their scientific paper.
And it is this element which alone brings a lot of hope. Indeed, if a molecule or method were discovered to control this depolarization known as anoxic depolarization, or repolarize these neurons, it could well herald a revolution in resuscitation. Enough to give yourself more time to avoid brain death and potentially the permanent after-effects which can result from the asphyxiation of part of the neurons.
Researchers point out that despite its size, the brain is the organ that consumes the most oxygen – between 20-25% of this vital element transported by red blood cells. It is therefore the organ that is most dependent on oxygenation and for which any asphyxia can quickly turn into an irreversible situation with current resuscitation methods.
Of course, the subject is complex – and we can only encourage the most curious among you to read the study in full by following the link in the source of this article to find out more!< /p>
- Researchers say they have observed for the first time a “death wave” in the brain.
- The phenomenon, initiated during the asphyxiation of neurons by the deep layers of the brain, concludes the last moments of life of this organ before his final death.
- However, researchers also discovered a “wave of resuscitation” as well as new avenues to slow down the occurrence of this wave of death.
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