Doctor reveals surprising thing that happens to our brains when we die (2024)

A medical expert has revealed that something quite surprising happens to our brains in particular when we die.

Apparently, it's something that we have probably heard about in films and in popular culture, but there is a bunch of science that causes it.

In case you're sceptical, this isn't just any GP or average doctor, it's a leading brain surgeon - so he may know a thing or two about what's in the old noggin.

Doctor reveals surprising thing that happens to our brains when we die (1)

Dr Jandial has revealed something big that happens to our brains after we die. (Getty Stock Photo)

Dr Rahul Jandial is a dual-trained neurosurgeon and neurobiologist, and spoke to fellow medical expert, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, on his podcast titled Feel Better, Live More.


The former explored the world and realms of dreams, explaining: "How the brain dies is powerful and it really has affected me because there's a measurement that shows something very dramatic.

"There are patients who are passing away... the stickers are on the heart, you have an EKG read - typically we used to think of death as flatlining meaning that there's no electrical signal coming from the heart."

However, he moved on to the topic of brain activity, and that thanks to skull surface electrodes, brain activity can be measured and monitored during a patient's final moments.

He explained that after the heart has stopped and you look at the flatline on the heart monitor, weirdly, you're not actually fully gone - yet.

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Activity in your brain continues for a few minutes after your heart stops. (Getty Stock Photo)

The good news is, according to Dr Jandial, the electricity in your brain is still going for the first handful of minutes after official cardiac death.


"The brain electricity's not just going, there's a massive explosion of activity, similar to dreaming brain waves, similar to expansive memory brain waves.

"The first few minutes after our heart stops beating, where historically we've thought, this is the time of death, the brain is having its final moment, maybe its best moment," he revealed.

Essentially, your brain is going out in an 'explosion of activity', due to the huge release of neurotransmitters, and the medical expert says this shows us that 'we should be holding that loved one's hand longer than we have been.'

Dr Jandial admitted that he shares the science with his patients to give them that extra reassurance, so they know that the heart 'squeezes one last time and then the last ejection of blood... lands to the brain' when we die.

So, we get this final lease of life because of the glucose being carried by the blood, sufficiently powering the neurons for a bit.

And by a bit, it's only a minute or two.

"What does the brain do at that moment? It fires everything in its arsenal and gives you your biggest dream yet," the neurosurgeon revealed.

He compared it to near-death experiences and patients who have 'come back' from the brink.

Dr Jandial added: "Maybe this explains why they said they had memories of their whole life like a film strip play in their mind."


He talks more about dreaming habits in his brand new book, titled: This is why you dream: What your sleeping brain reveals about your waking life.

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We get one last lease of life before we go for good. (Getty Stock Photo)

That's not all though, as the neurobiologist further explained: "To me, those brainwaves look a bit like dreaming brainwaves - that maybe brain death in itself is one last massive dream which points to me that dreaming is not a glitch."

Host Dr Rangan Chatterjee chimed in, admitting that he was left 'tingling', as he said that some nurses choose to keep talking to patients after cardiac death so that they aren't completely alone in that final phase.


Dr Chatterjee also recalled the time his father died 11 years ago, and thought about if his father had essentially seen his life flash before his eyes.

"Just because we can't explain it yet doesn't mean it's not powerful. I think the door that that opens as to the purpose of our brain, the purpose of dreaming, what the electrical activity actually means, is truly profound," he admitted.

Dr Jandial replied by highlighting that there is a 'genius built in every night for us', and that the 'dreaming brain' keeps us creative and open-minded.

"In your final moments, a dream-like robust activity will be there for you to comfort you and to celebrate the life you've lived," he concluded.

Featured Image Credit: Cavanimages/Raffi Maghdessian/Haydenbird/Getty Images

Topics:Science, Health, Weird

Doctor reveals surprising thing that happens to our brains when we die (4)

Joshua Nair

Joshua Nair is a journalist at LADbible. Born in Malaysia and raised in Dubai, he has always been interested in writing about a range of subjects, from sports to trending pop culture news. After graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a BA in Media, Journalism and Publishing, he got a job freelance writing for SPORTbible while working in marketing before landing a full-time role at LADbible. Unfortunately, he's unhealthily obsessed with Manchester United, which takes its toll on his mental and physical health. Daily.


Doctor reveals surprising thing that happens to our brains when we die (2024)
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