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Near-Death Experiences Linked to Oxygen Deprivation

Near-Death Experiences Linked to Oxygen Deprivation

Many people report seeing a bright light at the end of a long dark tunnel after a near-death experience.

People who report near-death experiences have elevated levels of carbon dioxide in their blood and may be suffering oxygen deprivations, according to a new study published in the medical journal Critical Care.

The study, by Slovenian researchers, examined 52 heart attack patients in three large hospitals. Of those, 11 reported having near-death experiences (NDEs), such as movement toward a bright light, feelings of peace and joy, and profoundly spiritual moments during their heart attacks. Studies suggest that between 10 percent and 25 percent of heart attack survivors report NDEs.

Exactly why has remained a mystery, but the new study provides a clue. The link between oxygen deprivation in the brain and near-death experience has been suggested for many years. British researcher Dr. Susan Blackmore, author of "Dying to Live: Near-Death Experiences" (Prometheus Books, 1993), notes that many NDEs (such as euphoria and the feeling of moving toward a white light) are in fact typical symptoms of oxygen deprivation.



Heart attacks occur when the supply of blood is blocked from the heart. The heart stops circulating blood, and as a result the brain is deprived of oxygen while carbon dioxide increases. Carbon dioxide is toxic in high concentrations, starting at about 1 percent of the inhaled air (10,000 parts per million). For comparison, the gas occurs naturally in a concentration of about 0.039 percent of the atmosphere, though it varies according to altitude, season, and other factors.


Not only are the symptoms of anoxia (oxygen deprivation) very similar to the symptoms of an NDE, but patients who had the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide in their blood reported significantly more NDEs than those with lower levels.

In response to the stress of the heart attack, pain-killing endorphins are released, which can create elation and hallucinations.

Several drugs have also been found to cause near-death or out-of-body experiences, including ketamine (a hallucinogen similar to PCP, used mainly as an anesthetic). Though many believe that near-death experiences provide evidence of life after death, the fact that they can be chemically induced suggests a natural—instead of supernatural—cause.

http://www.livescience.com/11010-death-experiences-linked-oxygen-deprivation.html

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 3:00 PM on Mar. 29, 2011 in Religious Debate

Answers (24)
  • well, duh!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:06 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • Has long since been proven... people choose not to believe factual evidence.
    ObbyDobbie

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:07 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • I thought that this has been well known for years!
    ashisamom

    Answer by ashisamom at 3:11 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • That's just the thing- a near death experience is a NEAR death experience. The brain has not died- if it had, the person could not be revived without significant brain damage. I don't think it negates the NDE as a spiritual experience- all of our experiences are essentially manufactured by chemicals in our brains- it's how we perceive the world, after all. But I don't think it either proves or disproves the idea of an afterlife.
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 3:14 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • i read something about that last week. it totally changed my views on my seeing "ghosts"..i've claimed to have seen ghosts before. but i also have had seizures and migraines since i was a kid. i started out with migraines.i think i had a light sensory issue when i was a kid .. then when i hit puberty i started having the seizures when i would have a period...this could be the reason why i saw things because the lack of oxygen.
    shay1130

    Answer by shay1130 at 3:14 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • According to the Bible, God created our bodies. Thus, we have the near death experience commonalities that I believe, point us to a loving, higher power Creator.
    CoffeeWriter

    Answer by CoffeeWriter at 3:23 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • Though many believe that near-death experiences provide evidence of life after death, the fact that they can be chemically induced suggests a natural—instead of supernatural—cause.

    Well- I am not sure if I am following- are you saying that because you can chemically induce a near death experience what people experience during that "time" is not real- ?
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 3:24 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • Am I missing the QUESTION??
    Renee3K

    Answer by Renee3K at 3:27 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • Yes you are, it isnt a question just a statement by someone who does not believe in God and trying to do a I toldya so post. They are always looking for reasons to deny God, and so are scientists.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

  • I think this is kind of like the "God Helmet" experiments- which were rebuked by some by simply stating - I can re-create or force a seizure in people by stimulating the brain as well, does that make seizures not real-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 5:06 PM on Mar. 29, 2011

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