Terminal lucidity

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Terminal lucidity refers to an unexpected return of mental clarity and memory that occurs in the time shortly before death in patients suffering from severe psychiatric or neurological disorders. This phenomenon has been noted in patients with schizophrenia, tumors, strokes, meningitis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.[1]

It may be present even in cases of patients with previous mental disability.[2] There are two subtypes: one that comes gradually (a week before death), and another that comes rapidly (hours before death). The former occurs in the majority of cases. There may be plenty of cases reported in literature, although the phrase terminal lucidity was coined in 2009.[3]


  1. ^ Nahm, Michael; Greyson, Bruce; Kelly, Emily Williams; Haraldsson, Erlendur (2012). "Terminal lucidity: A review and a case collection". Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 55 (1): 138–42. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2011.06.031. PMID 21764150.
  2. ^ Nahm, M.; Greyson, B. (2014). "The Death of Anna Katharina Ehmer: A Case Study in Terminal Lucidity". OMEGA. 68 (1): 77–87. doi:10.2190/OM.68.1.e. PMID 24547666.
  3. ^ Bering, Jesse (2017). "One Last Goodbye: The Strange Case of Terminal Lucidity". Scientific American Blog Network.