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Special Issue "Electromagnetic Fields and Health—Effects on the Nervous System"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mats-Olof Mattsson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Energy, Environmental Resources & Technologies, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Konrad-Lorenz-Straße 24, 3430 Tulln, Austria
Interests: health and environmental effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF); health and environmental effects of engineered nanomaterials
Prof. Dr. Myrtill Simkó
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
SciProof International AB, Vaktpoststigen 4, 83132 Östersund, Sweden
Interests: health and environmental effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF); health and environmental effects of engineered nanomaterials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The last decades have seen an unprecedented increase in processes and devices that use and emit various parts of the non-ionizing radiation spectrum (“electromagnetic fields”, EMF). This includes, e.g., distribution and use of electricity, information and communication technologies, as well as medical devices. Present and foreseeable future technologies employ different parts of the spectrum, from static electric and magnetic fields, via low frequency fields to high frequency electromagnetic fields encompassing millimetre waves and THz fields.

The increase in use, and the possible exposure to both the environment and humans, has received substantial attention from the international scientific community, as well as from stakeholders among governmental agencies, trade unions, industry, and non-governmental organisations, etc. Accordingly, exposure guidelines for protection against unwanted health effects have been developed by independent organizations and implemented by most relevant national authorities. These guidelines are based on accepted scientific knowledge and protect against acute effects such as nerve excitation and tissue heating.

However, there are also concerns that that possible health effect can occur after exposures to levels below those that cause known acute effects. This is reflected in a large number of scientific studies, experimental as well as clinical and population-based.

In parallel, there is also considerable interest in employing various parts of the EMF spectrum for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This has led to the development of widely used tools such as magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

A specific area of interest has been the central and peripheral nervous systems, where studies have focused on both possible detrimental health effects (such as tumours and neurodegenerative diseases), and the possible use in treatment of different disorders.

This Special Issue is open to scientific studies that address aspects of EMF exposure related to nervous system function. It includes work in any frequency area, from static fields up to exposures in the THz region, and welcomes studies focusing on possible negative health effects as well as studies exploring the beneficial potential of such fields. The article may cover exposure assessment; dosimetry; hazard identification and characterization; risk assessment, communication and management; as well as diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Prof. Dr. Mats-Olof Mattsson
Prof. Dr. Myrtill Simkó
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • electromagnetic field
  • magnetic field
  • electric field
  • health risk assessment
  • risk communication and managment
  • exposure assessment
  • hazard assessment
  • nervous system
  • nervous system disorder
  • neuron
  • neuronal differentiation
  • nerve regeneration

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Effects of A 60 Hz Magnetic Field of Up to 50 milliTesla on Human Tremor and EEG: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1446; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph14121446 - 24 Nov 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
Humans are surrounded by sources of daily exposure to power-frequency (60 Hz in North America) magnetic fields (MFs). Such time-varying MFs induce electric fields and currents in living structures which possibly lead to biological effects. The present pilot study examined possible extremely low [...] Read more.
Humans are surrounded by sources of daily exposure to power-frequency (60 Hz in North America) magnetic fields (MFs). Such time-varying MFs induce electric fields and currents in living structures which possibly lead to biological effects. The present pilot study examined possible extremely low frequency (ELF) MF effects on human neuromotor control in general, and physiological postural tremor and electroencephalography (EEG) in particular. Since the EEG cortical mu-rhythm (8–12 Hz) from the primary motor cortex and physiological tremor are related, it was hypothesized that a 60 Hz MF exposure focused on this cortical region could acutely modulate human physiological tremor. Ten healthy volunteers (age: 23.8 ± 4 SD) were fitted with a MRI-compatible EEG cap while exposed to 11 MF conditions (60 Hz, 0 to 50 mTrms, 5 mTrms increments). Simultaneously, physiological tremor (recorded from the contralateral index finger) and EEG (from associated motor and somatosensory brain regions) were measured. Results showed no significant main effect of MF exposure conditions on any of the analyzed physiological tremor characteristics. In terms of EEG, no significant effects of the MF were observed for C1, C3, C5 and CP1 electrodes. However, a significant main effect was found for CP3 and CP5 electrodes, both suggesting a decreased mu-rhythm spectral power with increasing MF flux density. This is however not confirmed by Bonferroni corrected pairwise comparisons. Considering both EEG and tremor findings, no effect of the MF exposure on human motor control was observed. However, MF exposure had a subtle effect on the mu-rhythm amplitude in the brain region involved in tactile perception. Current findings are to be considered with caution due to the small size of this pilot work, but they provide preliminary insights to international agencies establishing guidelines regarding electromagnetic field exposure with new experimental data acquired in humans exposed to high mT-range MFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health—Effects on the Nervous System)
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Article
Comprehensive Survey on Improved Focality and Penetration Depth of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Employing Multi-Coil Arrays
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1388; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph14111388 - 14 Nov 2017
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
Multi-coil arrays applied in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are proposed to accurately stimulate brain tissues and modulate neural activities by an induced electric field (EF). Composed of numerous independently driven coils, a multi-coil array has alternative energizing strategies to evoke EFs targeting at [...] Read more.
Multi-coil arrays applied in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are proposed to accurately stimulate brain tissues and modulate neural activities by an induced electric field (EF). Composed of numerous independently driven coils, a multi-coil array has alternative energizing strategies to evoke EFs targeting at different cerebral regions. To improve the locating resolution and the stimulating focality, we need to fully understand the variation properties of induced EFs and the quantitative control method of the spatial arrangement of activating coils, both of which unfortunately are still unclear. In this paper, a comprehensive analysis of EF properties was performed based on multi-coil arrays. Four types of planar multi-coil arrays were used to study the relationship between the spatial distribution of EFs and the structure of stimuli coils. By changing coil-driven strategies in a basic 16-coil array, we find that an EF induced by compactly distributed coils decays faster than that induced by dispersedly distributed coils, but the former has an advantage over the latter in terms of the activated brain volume. Simulation results also indicate that the attenuation rate of an EF induced by the 36-coil dense array is 3 times and 1.5 times greater than those induced by the 9-coil array and the 16-coil array, respectively. The EF evoked by the 36-coil dispense array has the slowest decay rate. This result demonstrates that larger multi-coil arrays, compared to smaller ones, activate deeper brain tissues at the expense of decreased focality. A further study on activating a specific field of a prescribed shape and size was conducted based on EF variation. Accurate target location was achieved with a 64-coil array 18 mm in diameter. A comparison between the figure-8 coil, the planar array, and the cap-formed array was made and demonstrates an improvement of multi-coil configurations in the penetration depth and the focality. These findings suggest that there is a tradeoff between attenuation rate and focality in the application of multi-coil arrays. Coil-energizing strategies and array dimensions should be based on an adequate evaluation of these two important demands and the topological structure of target tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health—Effects on the Nervous System)
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Article
Effects of 1.8 GHz Radiofrequency Fields on the Emotional Behavior and Spatial Memory of Adolescent Mice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1344; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph14111344 - 05 Nov 2017
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2754
Abstract
The increasing use of mobile phones by teenagers has raised concern about the cognitive effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields. In this study, we investigated the effects of 4-week exposure to a 1.8 GHz RF field on the emotional behavior and spatial memory of [...] Read more.
The increasing use of mobile phones by teenagers has raised concern about the cognitive effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields. In this study, we investigated the effects of 4-week exposure to a 1.8 GHz RF field on the emotional behavior and spatial memory of adolescent male mice. Anxiety-like behavior was evaluated by open field test (OFT) and elevated plus maze (EPM) test, while depression-like behavior was evaluated by sucrose preference test (SPT), tail suspension test (TST) and forced swim test (FST). The spatial learning and memory ability were evaluated by Morris water maze (MWM) experiments. The levels of amino acid neurotransmitters were determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The histology of the brain was examined by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining. It was found that the depression-like behavior, spatial memory ability and histology of the brain did not change obviously after RF exposure. However, the anxiety-like behavior increased in mice, while, the levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and aspartic acid (Asp) in cortex and hippocampus significantly decreased after RF exposure. These data suggested that RF exposure under these conditions do not affect the depression-like behavior, spatial memory and brain histology in adolescent male mice, but it may however increase the level of anxiety, and GABA and Asp were probably involved in this effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health—Effects on the Nervous System)
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