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Int J Radiat Biol. 2015 Jan;91(1):28-34. doi: 10.3109/09553002.2014.954058. Epub 2014 Nov 14.

Short-term effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields exposure on Alzheimer's disease in rats.

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  • 1High Voltage Research Institute, China Electric Power Research Institute , Wuhan , P. R. China.



With the development and widespread use of electromagnetic field (EMF) technology, recent studies are focusing on the effects of EMF on human health. Recently, extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) have been studied with great interest due to their possible effects on Alzheimer's disease (AD). The objective of the present study was to investigate the interaction between ELF-EMF exposure and memory impairment in rats.


Twenty healthy male Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into two groups (n = 10). Animals were exposed to 100 μT/50 Hz ELF-EMF or subjected to sham exposure when 12 weeks old. After 12 weeks, the Morris water maze (MWM) was used to test the changes in cognitive and memory ability. Amyloid-beta (Aβ) content in cortex, hippocampus and plasma were measured by ELISA assays. The morphology of neuron was detected by H&E staining.


After exposure, the body weight of rats showed no difference compared with the control group. The application of ELF-EMF did not induce any cognitive and memory impairment compared with the sham-exposure group. The determination of Aβ showed no significant change between the two groups, and there was no histological change in ELF-EMF exposure group.


The present study indicated that short-term exposure of 100 μT/50 Hz ELF-EMF had no effects on cognition and memory of rats, and did not alter the expression of Aβ and the neuron morphology. However, more comprehensive studies are still required to elucidate the possible effects and underlying mechanisms of ELF-EMF exposure on living organisms.


Extremely low frequency; cognition and memory; electromagnetic fields; rat

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