Home > Soul > 20. The End-of-Life EEG Surge

 

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Figure 20a. Schematic drawing of the end-of-life brain activity as measured by the bispectral index (BIS). The life support was withdrawn at Time = 0. It exhibits a brief surge before complete silence.

Between 2005 and 2010, I had suspected that the soul could be made up of gravitational (GR) waves because, according to the String Theory, they are the only thing that can escape our 3D world and go to 10D space (Heaven). However, the generation of GR waves requires brain activity. Where does this soul-related activity come from? When is it produced? I had no idea. In 2010, I happened to read a research paper entitled "Surges of electroencephalogram (EEG) activity at the time of death". That was one of the most exciting moments in my life. Could the soul be created by the end-of-life EEG surge?

The End-of-Life EEG Surge

The paper was published by Chawla and his colleagues in 2009. They converted the EEG data into the bispectral index (BIS) which can vary between 0 and 100. Higher scores correlate to higher levels of consciousness. Smaller values indicate reduced brain activity. A value between 40 and 60 is an appropriate level for general anesthesia. The studies were conducted on patients who were neurologically intact but critically ill, requiring life support. After the life support was withdrawn, the BIS score gradually decreased to nearly zero. Surprisingly, a brief surge emerged before death (Figure 20a).

The Role of Na+/K+ Pump

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Figure 20b. A nerve impulse is generated whenever the membrane potential is depolarized to the threshold (about -55 mV).

The EEG surge can be ascribed to the functional loss of the enzyme, Na+/K+-ATPase (also known as the Na+/K+ pump). This enzyme is responsible for the maintenance of ion concentrations and resting membrane potential (about -70 mV). If it stops functioning, the membrane potential will increase (depolarize). As soon as the membrane potential reaches the threshold (about -55 mV), a nerve impulse will be generated (Figure 20b; more info). A functioning Na+/K+ pump requires ATP, which is produced from oxygen. The major role of blood circulation is to deliver oxygen to various types of cells for the production of ATP. When the heart stops beating, the oxygen supply will be cut off and the enzyme will lose its function. This may lead to membrane depolarization, resulting in neuronal firing. This process, however, is only a "last gasp". Without a functioning Na+/K+ pump, the eventual ion concentrations and membrane potential would not allow further generation of action potentials.

Chawla and his colleagues did not explore the contribution of specific frequency bands to the EEG surge. If a soul geon is created by the EEG surge, the alpha band should make significant contribution (Chapter 14). This prediction can be tested by future experiments.