Neurological effects of static and extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields

Henry Lai (2022) Neurological effects of static and extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, DOI: 10.1080/15368378.2022.2064489

ABSTRACT

This is a review of studies on the neurological effects of static/extremely-low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). The review is mainly on research carried out in the last two decades. There are studies that showed effects on various neurotransmitters, including NMDA, serotonin, dopamine, endogenous opioids, etc. Each of these transmitters plays different critical roles on behavior and brain functions. Studies on behavioral effects of static/ELF EMF bear out these connections. Static/ELF EMF-induced behavorial and pathological effects, such as locomotor activity, memory and learning deficits, and neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Huntinton’s diseases and atropical lateral scleroses, etc.) are discussed. Static/ELF EMF exposure has also been shown to have beneficial effects on functional deficits and progression of some neurological diseases. These fields provide a non-invasive treatment or treatment-adjuvant for these detrimental neurological conditions. Results suggest that free radicals, both reactive oxygen species and reactive nitric species could be involved. Depending on the conditions of exposure, either harmful or beneficial effects could result. It is important to carry out further investigation to identify these conditions. However, Caution should be taken to extrapolate the experimental data to human exposure, since higher field intensites than environmental levels were used in most laboratory research.

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