EMF Health-effects Research

Microwave irradiation affects radial-arm maze performance in the rat

Lai H, Horita A, Guy AW,

Bioelectromagnetics 15(2):95-104, 1994

After 45 min of exposure to pulsed 2450 MHz microwaves (2 microseconds pulses, 500 pps, 1 mW/cm2, average whole body SAR 0.6 W/kg), rats showed retarded learning while performing in the radial-arm maze to obtain food rewards, indicating a deficit in spatial "working memory" function.

This behavioral deficit was reversed by pretreatment before exposure with the cholinergic agonist physostigmine or the opiate antagonist naltrexone, whereas pretreatment with the peripheral opiate antagonist naloxone methiodide showed no reversal of effect.

These data indicate that both cholinergic and endogenous opioid neurotransmitter systems in the brain are involved in the microwave-induced spatial memory deficit.

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