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World's Largest-Ever Study Of Near-Death Experience

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  • medit8ionsociety
    The University of Southampton is launching the world s largest-ever study of near-death experiences this week. The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 13, 2008
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      The University of Southampton is launching
      the world's largest-ever study of near-death
      experiences this week.

      The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation)
      study is to be launched by the Human Consciousness
      Project of the University of Southampton - an
      international collaboration of scientists
      and physicians who have joined forces to
      study the human brain, consciousness
      and clinical death.

      The study is led by Dr Sam Parnia, an expert
      in the field of consciousness during clinical
      death, together with Dr Peter Fenwick and
      Professors Stephen Holgate and Robert Peveler
      of the University of Southampton. Following
      a successful 18-month pilot phase at selected
      hospitals in the UK, the study is now being
      expanded to include other centres within the
      UK, mainland Europe and North America.

      "Contrary to popular perception," Dr Parnia
      explains, "death is not a specific moment. It is
      a process that begins when the heart stops
      beating, the lungs stop working and the brain
      ceases functioning - a medical condition termed
      cardiac arrest, which from a biological
      viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.

      "During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria
      of death are present. There then follows a period
      of time, which may last from a few seconds
      to an hour or more, in which emergency medical
      efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and
      reversing the dying process. What people
      experience during this period of cardiac arrest
      provides a unique window of understanding into
      what we are all likely to experience during the
      dying process."

      A number of recent scientific studies carried
      out by independent researchers have demonstrated
      that 10-20 per cent of people who go
      through cardiac arrest and clinical death report
      lucid, well structured thought processes, reasoning,
      memories and sometimes detailed recall of
      events during their encounter with death.

      During the AWARE study, doctors will use
      sophisticated technology to
      study the brain and consciousness during
      cardiac arrest. At the same time, they will
      test the validity of out of body experiences
      and claims of being able to 'see' and 'hear'
      during cardiac arrest.

      The AWARE study will be complemented by the
      BRAIN-1 (Brain Resuscitation Advancement
      International Network - 1) study, in which the
      research team will conduct a variety of
      physiological tests in cardiac
      arrest patients, as well as cerebral monitoring
      techniques that aim to identify methods to
      improve the medical and psychological care of
      patients who have undergone cardiac arrest.

      Dr Parnia will formally announce the launch
      of the AWARE study at an international symposium
      to be held at the United Nations on September 11.

      1. The Human Consciousness Project of the
      University of Southampton is an international
      consortium of scientists and physicians who have come
      together with the aim of studying the brain
      and consciousness during cardiac arrest and
      clinical death through multi-centre studies across
      major academic institutions in the United States,
      Canada, and Europe.

      2. The current UK centres participating in
      the study include Southampton University
      Hospitals NHS Trust, Hammersmith and Charing
      Cross, St Georges, Mayday, Ashford and
      St Peter's, Morriston (Swansea),
      Royal Bournemouth, Lister Hospital (Stevenage),
      Northampton General, and Salisbury Hospitals.

      These will be joined by the John Radcliffe (Oxford)
      Addenbrookes (Cambridge), Great Western (Swindon),
      University Hospital Birmingham,
      James Paget University (Great Yarmouth) and East
      Sussex Hospitals.

      Collaborators in the US include Indiana State
      University, Rosalind Franklin University of
      Medicine and Science, Drexel University, Brooklyn
      Medical Center, the University of Virginia,
      Wayne State University and New York University;
      as well as Vienna General Hospital in Austria.

      3. The University of Southampton is a leading
      UK teaching and research institution with a
      global reputation for leading-edge research and
      scholarship across a wide range of subjects in
      engineering, science,
      social sciences, health and humanities.

      With over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff,
      and an annual turnover of over £350 million,
      the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one
      of the country's top institutions for
      engineering, computer science and
      medicine. We combine academic excellence with
      an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to
      research, supporting a culture that engages
      and challenges students and staff in their
      pursuit of learning.

      The University is also home to a number of
      world-leading research centres, including the
      National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the
      Institute of Sound and Vibration Research,
      the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Centre
      for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease,
      and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.

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