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.
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).
|Exposure duration||continuous for 45 min|
|Repetition frequency||217 Hz|
|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.|
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.