Maskey D, Pradhan J, Aryal B, Lee CM, Choi IY, Park KS, Kim SB, Kim HG, Kim MJ. Chronic 835-MHz radiofrequency exposure to mice hippocampus alters distribution of calbindin and GFAP immunoreactivity. Brain Research. Article in Press, 2010.

The use of wireless communication devices such as mobiles phones have undergone rapid worldwide growth and have led to increased concerns of the effects of radiofrequency (RF) exposure on brain function.   Calcium plays a major role in the brain.  The brain uses differing calcium levels to send messages between neurons and cells, and if this process is changed, then learning and memory could be compromised.  This paper investigates whether calcium signalling is affected by chronic RF exposure.

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of chronic RF exposure on the health of brain cells in mice and investigate whether the brain signalling pathways are altered.

Two separate groups of six week old mice were used in the study.  One group was exposed to low energy RF at 835MHz with a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.6 W/kg for 8 hours per day for three months.  The second group was placed in the same exposure apparatus for the same period of time, but not exposed to radiation.  Three months later, brain tissue from both groups were analyzed and compared for the number of dead brain cells, and integrity of different molecules involved in calcium binding and regulation.

The researchers found that there was an increase in the number of dead brain cells which correlated with a decrease in the number of calcium binding molecules. Other cells in the brain increased in reaction to compensate for the loss.

Interpretation and Limitations
The authors hypothesized that the death of cells and decreased cell signalling components could compromise brain function and affect memory, learning and emotional state.  Further studies need to investigate how chronic RF exposure can compromise brain function to validate these findings.

This study suggests that chronic exposure to RF radiation is associated with a decrease in calcium cell signalling in brain cells of mice. 

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