EMF Health-effects Research

Effects of high frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by mobile phones on the human motor cortex.

Inomata-Terada S, Okabe S, Arai N, Hanajima R, Terao Y, Frubayashi T, Ugawa Y

Bioelectromagnetics. May 21; 2007

[Epub ahead of print]

We investigated whether the pulsed high frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by a mobile phone has short term effects on the human motor cortex. We measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), before and after mobile phone exposure (active and sham) in 10 normal volunteers.

Three sites were stimulated (motor cortex (CTX), brainstem (BST) and spinal nerve (Sp)). The short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) of the motor cortex reflecting GABAergic interneuronal function was also studied by paired pulse TMS method.

MEPs to single pulse TMS were also recorded in two patients with multiple sclerosis showing temperature dependent neurological symptoms (hot bath effect).

Neither MEPs to single pulse TMS nor the SICI was affected by 30 min of EMF exposure from mobile phones or sham exposure. In two MS patients, mobile phone exposure had no effect on any parameters of MEPs even though conduction block occurred at the corticospinal tracts after taking a bath.

As far as available methods are concerned, we did not detect any short-term effects of 30 min mobile phone exposure on the human motor cortical output neurons or interneurons even though we can not exclude the possibility that we failed to detect some mild effects due to a small sample size in the present study.

This is the first study of MEPs after electromagnetic exposure from a mobile phone in neurological patients.

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