FAQ - Brain Death
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Brain still alive after death?

I was always told since i was little that once you die your brain is still "alive" or active for 24hrs., i've done so much research on it and i can't find anything! does anyone else know if this is true?

No, thank goodness!

When you die, your heart stops and your blood pressure drops to zero. You lose conscienceness as soon as that happens. With no circulation, no oxygen. Brain tissue will be non-functional within about 5 minutes, and totally dead in about 20.

Be aware there is a difference between clinical brain death and actually dieing. With artificial life support, the brain can be dead, yet the heart, lungs, and other organs will continue to function.  (+ info)

Why does the heart keep beating after brain death?

The same reason a chicken will run around with it's head cut off. Reflexes. It eventually dies down, but it isn't that uncommon. It happens with people too, if the brain goes out before the heart.  (+ info)

what is the exact treatment given to a person who suffers brain haemorrhage? does it lead to death?

no not all the time if operation is preformed in time to stop bleeding results can be very good
partner had a aneurysm(not spelt right)1 1/2 years ago & after 6 months in hospital/rehab is 90% fine now but it can be a lot worse than that partner was lucky

operation to stop bleeding is #1
drain to remove excess fluid/blood #2
A LOT OF LUCK & a very good sergon(doctor) helps is is a long slow process
if you know the reason for haemorrhage google it & read up on it
& GOOD LUCK  (+ info)

if someone is in a coma and they cant breathand there is no movement does that mean the person has brain death

Someone could be in a coma and on life support to breathe but still have brain activity and is possible for them to be able to recover to some extent.
brain death is when there is no recordable brain activity in the brain stem which governs any thought and conciousness as well as physical activity.

I have given you a link for brain death criteria.

http://classic.aacn.org/aacn/jrnlccn.nsf/0/5ebf8de743ead0fa8825674e005a8950?OpenDocument  (+ info)

Off ventilation, in coma with severe brain damage. Will choke to death or drown in own fluid?

Depends on the level of brain injury and where. More then likely will persist in a vegetative state. Most coma pts die from infection like pneumonia or bed sore infection.  (+ info)

What is really going on in the brain of a person who's having psychotic delusions?

There's a scientific explanation for what's going on in the brain of a person who's near death and see's white light or their own body below but what is chemically going on in the brain when someone is having psychotic delutions and thinks the FBI wants to kill them or that people are sending secret messeges to only them? Some people describe it as "dreaming while they're awake". What's going on in their brain?

A 2003 study investigating structural changes in the brains of people with psychosis showed there was significant grey matter reduction in the cortex of people before and after they became psychotic. Findings such as these have led to debate about whether psychosis is itself neurotoxic and whether potentially damaging changes to the brain are related to the length of psychotic episode. Recent research has suggested that this is not the case although further investigation is still ongoing.

Functional brain scans have revealed that the areas of the brain that react to sensory perceptions are active during psychosis. For example, a PET or fMRI scan of a person who claims to be hearing voices may show activation in the auditory cortex, or parts of the brain involved in the perception and understanding of speech.

Psychosis has been traditionally linked to the neurotransmitter dopamine. In particular, the dopamine hypothesis of psychosis has been influential and states that psychosis results from an overactivity of dopamine function in the brain, particularly in the mesolimbic pathway. The two major sources of evidence given to support this theory are that dopamine-blocking drugs (i.e. antipsychotics) tend to reduce the intensity of psychotic symptoms, and that drugs which boost dopamine activity (such as amphetamine and cocaine) can trigger psychosis in some people (see amphetamine psychosis).

The connection between dopamine and psychosis is generally believed to be complex. First of all, while antipsychotic drugs immediately block dopamine receptors, they usually take a week or two to reduce the symptoms of psychosis. Moreover, newer and equally effective antipsychotic drugs actually block slightly less dopamine in the brain than older drugs whilst also affecting serotonin function, suggesting the 'dopamine hypothesis' is vastly oversimplified. Also, Soyka and colleagues found no evidence of dopaminergic dysfunction in people with alcohol-induced psychosis and Zoldan et al reported on the use of ondansetron, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, in the treatment of levodopa psychosis in Parkinson's disease patients (they were moderately successful).  (+ info)

After an ischemic stroke, how long does it usually take for the brain swelling to peak & subside?

I am asking this question for the case of a large ischemic stroke in which around 2/3 of the left side of the brain has been impaired. Presumably it takes longer for the brain swelling to subside for a large stroke than a minor stroke.

A follow-up question is, what is the mechanism by which the brain swelling subsides? Does the swelling subside only due to the death of brain cells?


After an ischemic stroke, there are actually two types of brain swelling(aka cerebral edema) that occur.

1. First, there is intracellular edema, which is also called cytotoxic edema. When a brain cell's oxygen supply is interrupted, the cell is no longer able to regulate the concentration of its own electrolytes. As a result, while the cell is dying, water rushes into the cell from extracellular compartments. This event occurs within a few hours (2-3 hrs) after the stroke happens.

2. The second type of edema is called vasogenic edema (aka interstitial edema) and occurs later than cytotoxic edema. In this case, after an ischemic stroke, the blood vessels downstream break down and begin to leak water and proteins into the area of dead brain. These events occur with 6-12 hours and progresses for about 3 days.

When someone has a large stroke, it is the rapid progression of interstitial edema that is potentially lethal. The estimated peak of interstitial edema is about 3 days, but more realistically it is about 3-5 days.

Eventually as the neurons and its supporting cells die off and are replaced with scar tissue, the cytotoxic edema subsides. Also, as the blood vessels repair themselves or either die off, the leakiness of the blood vessels subside as well. Thus, to answer your question, the resolution of swelling is not directly due to the death of neurons, but it is due rather to the decrease of inflammation and the gradual repair of the blood vessels.

Hope I was able to answer your question!  (+ info)

What is the typical course that metastatic brain cancer takes?

An old high school friend recently informed me that he's been dealing with metastatic brain cancer for the past two years. He's had two surgeries to remove tumors. Thus far, he says he's lost sensation in one hand, and can get dizzy a lot, but that's it. I know little about cancer, so was surprised to hear him say he's had no pain. He's still as sharp and witty as ever. Is this typical? I'd always thought metastatic cancer was a terrible and quick death sentence.

Well, if the cancer has matastasized TO the brain, it's stage 4 and considered...usually, terminal. There are exceptions to every rule, however. Look at Lance Armstrong. Brain cancer doesn't travel to other organs, unless it maybe starts in brain stem and THAT would be terminal.
I'm pretty much the same as I ever was, aside from minor balance issues and I'm more scatterbrained than before.

I actually had a numbing pain from my neck to my fingertips on the side my tumor was on. I just put it down to an old shoulder injury/pinched nerve pain.  (+ info)

Do you personally feel that severe brain damage is WORSE THAN DEATH at least for the families????

Question #2, would you want to be a BURDEN on your family if you were severely brain damaged...you know basically very retarded? Just answer the questions please...and i thank you!!!

I would prefer death because i would a burden on my family. I wont enjoy life in a vegatative state.  (+ info)

What is the cause of a seizure immediately before death?

I am curious, especially, in terms of a breast cancer patient with respiratory problems. Was the seizure caused by lack of oxygen reaching the brain, or was it likely caused by something else like electrical charges in the heart? Also, was this seizure the primary cause of death?

my dad had a seizure a few hours before his death from lung cancer the hospital told us that it was due to his lungs and all his other organs failing, the heart has a hard task pumping blood around the body and works twice as hard when other organs are failing so the brain isn't receiving the blood that it needs so this could be the cause of seizure's before death.  (+ info)

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