EMF Health-effects Research

Electromagnetic field of mobile phones affects visual event related potential in patients with narcolepsy

Jech R, Sonka K, Růzicka E, Nebuzelsky A, Bohm J, Juklickov M, Nevsimalova S.

Bioelectromagnetics 22(7):519-528, 2001

The effects of the mobile phone (MP) electromagnetic fields on electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERP) were examined.

With regard to the reported effects of MP on sleep, 22 patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy were exposed or sham exposed for 45 min to the MP (900 MHz, specific absorption rate 0.06 W/kg) placed close to the right ear in a double blind study.

There were no changes of the EEG recorded after the MP exposure.

A subgroup of 17 patients was studied on visual ERP recorded during the MP exposure. Using an adapted "odd-ball" paradigm, each patient was instructed to strike a key whenever rare target stimuli were presented. There were three variants of target stimuli (horizontal stripes in (i) left, (ii) right hemifields or (iii) whole field of the screen).

The exposure enhanced the positivity of the ERP endogenous complex solely in response to target stimuli in the right hemifield of the screen (P < 0.01). The reaction time was shortened by 20 ms in response to all target stimuli (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the electromagnetic field of MP may suppress the excessive sleepiness and improve performance while solving a monotonous cognitive task requiring sustained attention and vigilance.

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