Mobile phone emission modulates inter-hemispheric functional coupling of EEG alpha rhythms in elderly compared to young subjects

Fabrizio Vecchio, Claudio Babiloni, Florinda Ferreri, Paola Buffo, Giuseppe Cibelli, Giuseppe Curcio, Sven van Dijkman, Jean Marc Melgari, Federica Giambattistelli, Paolo Maria Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: It has been reported that GSM electromagnetic fields (GSM-EMFs) of mobile phones modulate - after a prolonged exposure - inter-hemispheric synchronization of temporal and frontal resting electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms in normal young subjects [Vecchio et al., 2007]. Here we tested the hypothesis that this effect can vary on physiological aging as a sign of changes in the functional organization of cortical neural synchronization. Methods: Eyes-closed resting EEG data were recorded in 16 healthy elderly subjects and 5 young subjects in the two conditions of the previous reference study. The GSM device was turned on (45 min) in one condition and was turned off (45 min) in the other condition. Spectral coherence evaluated the inter-hemispheric synchronization of EEG rhythms at the following bands: delta (about 2-4 Hz), theta (about 4-6 Hz), alpha 1 (about 6-8 Hz), alpha 2 (about 8-10 Hz), and alpha 3 (about 10-12 Hz). The aging effects were investigated comparing the inter-hemispheric EEG coherence in the elderly subjects vs. a young group formed by 15 young subjects (10 young subjects of the reference study; Vecchio et al., 2007). Results: Compared with the young subjects, the elderly subjects showed a statistically significant (p <0.001) increment of the inter-hemispheric coherence of frontal and temporal alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz) during the GSM condition. Conclusions: These results suggest that GSM-EMFs of a mobile phone affect inter-hemispheric synchronization of the dominant (alpha) EEG rhythms as a function of the physiological aging. Significance: This study provides further evidence that physiological aging is related to changes in the functional organization of cortical neural synchronization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Alpha band
  • EEG
  • Functional coupling
  • Mobile phone emission
  • Spectral coherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems

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