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Holding Your Breath and Brain Damage

  1. Nov 23, 2013 #1
    How long would it take for your brain to be permanently damaged after holding your breath? In other words, after how long of holding your breath will your brain function be at risk?

    A quick Google search gave me varied results. :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2013 #2
    You will most probably faint before causing any damage and start breathing again sub-consciously.
    but still:
  4. Nov 27, 2013 #3
    After 5 to 10 minutes of not breathing, you are likely to create serious and probably permanent brain damage.
    The one exemption is when a young person stops breathing and also becomes abnormally cool at the same time. This can happen when a kid is instantly plunged into very cold water and drowns. In this scenario, survival after more than 30 minutes has been known to occur.
  5. Dec 2, 2013 #4
    How can this occur ?
  6. Dec 2, 2013 #5


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    Gold Member

    Both act to slow down metabolism so less damage occurs. The state is called suspended animation. Last time I heard about it, they were using hydrogen sulfide which has a similar effect to not breathing (it blocks oxygen). The studies were in trials, but the trials got withdrawn in 2011.
  7. Dec 2, 2013 #6
    I think they used suspended animation to operate on baby mice during regenerating research. It put them in a" dead-like" state.
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