Daniels WM, Pitout IL, Afullo TJ, Mabandla MV. The effect of electromagnetic radiation in the mobile phone range on the behavior of the rat. Metab Brain Dis. Ahead of print. Oct 13, 2009.
Previous studies had shown that electromagnetic radiation can affect cognitive performance and behaviour as evidenced by structural damage to the brain, in particular the hippocampus. The damage was manifested by dark, shrunken neurons in the pyramidal cell layer. The hippocampus is involved in behaviour regulation as well as regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis.
The aim of the current study was to investigate whether exposure to electromagnetic magnetic radiation (EMR) early in the life of rat pups will lead to abnormal brain development, impacting negatively on their behaviour during adulthood.
Towards this purpose, rat pups were exposed to EMR from post-natal day 2 to14 for 3 hours per day. After exposure, animals from treated and control groups were examined for behavioural, biochemical and histological changes to determine the effects on behaviour, memory and emotional status.
The results did not show significant differences in the spatial memory test or behaviour Furthermore, morphological assessment of the brain yielded non-significant differences between the groups. However, in some exposed animals there were decreased locomotor activity, increased grooming and a tendency of increased basal corticosterone levels.
The results suggest that EMR exposure may be an environmental risk factor in the development of behavioural abnormalities.