Science does everything possible to resolve a fraction of the doubts and questions that arise daily, and sometimes many remain unresolved.
To this day, various phenomena of nature or of the body remain a mystery, and not even the best group of scientists has been able to give a well-founded argument.
One of the phenomena that continues to cause more questions than answers is the significant improvement of a person just before death. Perhaps, at some point in your life, you heard stories about terminally ill or seriously ill patients who suddenly got better or began to feel better. When their family members thought they had everything going for them to survive and get ahead, the opposite happened.
There are several similar cases in the history of medicine and science, and although various names have been called it, it is known as ” paradoxical lucidity ” or ” terminal lucidity “.
Scientists from the University of Michigan, United States, have been studying paradoxical lucidity, the moments of clarity that some patients with dementia experience at the end of life. They believe that the information collected may be necessary for future illness treatments.
The behavior of a patient going through an “episode” of terminal lucidity is related to showing a substantial improvement in the symptoms afflicting him; however, the person dies shortly after.
The question came at least from the time of Hippocrates, when the Greek doctor was considered the father of Medicine who was born four centuries before Christ. He and other Greeks thought the soul remains intact while the brain is affected by physical malfunction or disturbances of the mind.
Experts cannot find an answer to this, and although it has happened since ancient times, there have been very few scientific studies on it. Some think that it is a survival mechanism of the human body.
It is challenging to put this phenomenon under the magnifying glass as part of the medical and scientific community since it concerns ethical issues that few are willing to transfer.
George A. Mashour of Michigan Medicine admits that studying paradoxical lucidity will be challenging, given the fleeting nature of the event.
In 2009, Michael Nahm and Bruce Greyson, from the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia (USA), compiled 49 cases described in the medical literature.
The results showed that 43% corresponded to patients who had a sudden improvement one day before death, while 41% of the patients improved from 2 to 7 days before death and 10% from 8 to 30 days.
Most patients suffer from dementia, the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study in 2018 pointed out that usually, there is a release of adrenaline and other substances that cause changes in the body, causing the body to “reset” to tell it in some way.
German biologist Michael Nahm coined the term “terminal lucidity” for this phenomenon and focused on historical accounts spanning hundreds of years.
Several hypotheses try to explain what happens, but none have been proven or validated. Among them are the normal oscillations in critically ill patients, a chemical reaction in the body that would function as a survival instinct. Also, chance, or the persistence of consciousness during death.
Leaving aside religious theories or beliefs or ideas, terminal lucidity is a phenomenon that happens and that will continue to be discussed within the community and hospitals to find a valid explanation for its reason for being.