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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Mobile phone emission modulates inter-hemispheric functional coupling of EEG alpha rhythms in elderly compared to young subjects.

Published in: Clin Neurophysiol 2010; 121 (2): 163-171

Aim of study (acc. to author)

In a previous study (Vecchio et al. 2007) it has been reported that GSM electromagnetic fields of a mobile phone modulate inter-hemispheric synchronization (an important physiological feature of information transfer into the brain) of temporal and frontal resting EEG rhythms in normal young subjects.
In the present study, the authors tested the hypothesis that this effect can vary with physiological aging as a sign of changes in the functional organization of cortical neural synchronization.
Background/further details: Eyes-closed resting EEG data were recorded in 16 healthy elderly subjects (60.75 ± 2.87 years) and 5 young subjects (30 ± 1.26 years) in the same two conditions of the previous study (GSM device was turned on (45 min) in one condition and was turned off (45 min) in the other condition). The aging effects were investigated comparing the inter-hemispheric EEG coherence in the elderly subjects vs. a young group formed by 15 young subjects (including 10 young subjects of the previous study).
Individual EEG rhythms of interest were delta waves (about 2-4 Hz), theta waves (about 4-6 Hz), alpha wave 1 (about 6-8 Hz), alpha wave 2 (about 8-10 Hz) and alpha wave 3 (about 10-12 Hz).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 902.4 MHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 45 min
  • power: 2 W peak value
  • power: 0.25 W average over time
  • SAR: 0.5 W/kg maximum (brain)
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 902.4 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 45 min
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Repetition frequency 217 Hz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 1.5 cm
Setup commercially available standard phone positioned on the left side next to the ear by a modified helmet; another phone, which was switched off, was on the right side; antenna placed in the parieto-tempoaral area about 4 cm from the head
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W peak value - - -
power 0.25 W average over time - - -
SAR 0.5 W/kg maximum measured brain -
Exposed system:
  • human
  • partial body: head (left side)

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Compared with the young subjects, the elderly subjects showed a statistically significant increment of the inter-hemispheric coherence of frontal and temporal alpha wave rhythms (about 8-12 Hz) during the GSM condition. In conclusion, these data suggest that GSM electromagnetic fields of a mobile phone affect inter-hemispheric synchronization of the dominant (alpha wave) EEG rhythms as a function of the physiological aging. This study provides further evidence that physiological aging is related to changes in the functional organization of cortical neural synchronization.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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