Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Mobile phone emission increases inter-hemispheric functional coupling of electroencephalographic alpha rhythms in epileptic patients med./bio.

Published in: Int J Psychophysiol 2012; 84 (2): 164-171

Aim of study (acc. to author)

In two previous studies (Vecchio et al. 2007 and Vecchio et al. 2010) it has been reported that exposure to GSM mobile phones modulates inter-hemispheric synchronization of temporal and frontal resting EEG rhythms in healthy young and elderly subjects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether this can be even more evident in epileptic patients, who typically suffer from abnormal mechanisms governing synchronization of rhythmic firing of cortical neurons.

Background/further details

Ten epileptic volunteers diagnosed as having focal epilepsy of unknown cause were enrolled in the present study. The control group consisted of 15 age-matched healthy volunteers recruited in the previous reference studies. The participants in awake resting conditions underwent two EEG recordings, separated by one week (exposure/sham exposure sessions).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 902.4 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 45 min
  • power: 2 W peak value
  • power: 0.25 W average over time
  • SAR: 0.5 W/kg maximum

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 902.4 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 45 min
Modulation type cf. additional info
Additional info

modulation frequencies: 8.33 Hz, 217 Hz

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Distance between exposed object and exposure source 1.5 cm
Setup The mobile phone was held by a modified helmet in the normal use position, 1.5 cm from the subject's left ear. A similar phone without battery was placed on the other side of the helmet in order to balance the weight and conceal the exposure side. The subjects wearing the helmet could move freely in the room.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info For sham exposure in one of the two sessions, both phones were without battery.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power 2 W peak value - - -
power 0.25 W average over time - - -
SAR 0.5 W/kg maximum - - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Compared with the control subjects, epileptic patients showed a statistically significant higher inter-hemispheric coherence of temporal and frontal alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz) with GSM mobile phone exposure vs. sham exposure.
The authors concluded that GSM mobile phone exposure may affect inter-hemispheric synchronization of the dominant (alpha wave) EEG rhythms in epileptic patients.

Study character:

Study funded by

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