EMF Health-effects Research

Blood-brain barrier and electromagnetic fields: Effects of scopolamine methylbromide on working memory after whole-body exposure to 2.45GHz microwaves in rats.

Cosquer B, Vasconcelos AP, Frohlich J, Cassel JC

Behav Brain Res. 161(2):229-237, 2005

We first verified that our 12-arm radial maze test enabled demonstration of memory deficits in rats treated with the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine hydrobromide (0.5mg/kg, i.p.). We then investigated whether a systemically-injected quaternary-ammonium derivate of this antagonist (scopolamine methylbromide; MBR), which poorly crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB), altered maze performance after a 45-min exposure to 2.45GHz electromagnetic field (EMF; 2mus pulse width, 500pps, whole-body specific energy absorption rate [SAR] of 2.0W/kg, +/-2dB and brain averaged SAR of 3.0W/kg, +/-3dB); if observed, such an alteration would reflect changes in BBB permeability.

The drug was injected before or after exposure. Controls were naive rats (no experience of the exposure device) and sham-exposed rats (experience of the exposure device without microwaves). In a final approach, rats were subjected to i.v. injections of Evans blue, a dye binding serum albumin, before or after EMF exposure.

Whether scopolamine MBR was injected before or after exposure, the exposed rats did not perform differently from their naive or sham-exposed counterparts. Thus, EMFs most probably failed to disrupt the BBB. This conclusion was further supported by the absence of Evans blue extravasation into the brain parenchyma of our exposed rats.

Please e-mail comments, information and updates to DON MAISCH: