The unexpected return of mental clarity and memory shortly before death is a curious phenomenon that has so far received only little attention. I refer to this phenomenon as Terminal Lucidity.
The most remarkable cases involve patients whose
brains were destroyed by diseases such as tumors and Alzheimer’s disease, but who
seemed to recover shortly before death with their memory being intact.
potential to trigger the development of new forms of therapies and to
contribute to an enhanced understanding of cognition, memory processing,
the nature of the human mind, terminal lucidity in patients with
psychiatric and neurologic disorders was largely ignored by
psychiatrists and other physicians.
Moreover, Terminal Lucidity often comes as a complete surprise to those who
attend the dying, and thus, they might miss the last opportunity to optimally relate
to a dying loved one who was non-responsive for a long time, sometimes for years.