Cognitive impairment in rats after long-term exposure to GSM-900 mobile phone radiation

Bioelectromagnetics. 2008 Apr;29(3):219-32. doi: 10.1002/bem.20386.

Abstract

Considering the frequent use of mobile phones, we have directed attention to possible implications on cognitive functions. In this study we investigated in a rat model the long-term effects of protracted exposure to Global System for Mobile Communication-900 MHz (GSM-900) radiation. Out of a total of 56 rats, 32 were exposed for 2 h each week for 55 weeks to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation at different SAR levels (0.6 and 60 mW/kg at the initiation of the experimental period) emitted by a (GSM-900) test phone. Sixteen animals were sham exposed and eight animals were cage controls, which never left the animal house. After this protracted exposure, GSM-900 exposed rats were compared to sham exposed controls. Effects on exploratory behaviour were evaluated in the open-field test, in which no difference was seen. Effects on cognitive functions were evaluated in the episodic-like memory test. In our study, GSM exposed rats had impaired memory for objects and their temporal order of presentation, compared to sham exposed controls (P = 0.02). Detecting the place in which an object was presented was not affected by GSM exposure. Our results suggest significantly reduced memory functions in rats after GSM microwave exposure (P = 0.02).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Phone*
  • Cognition / radiation effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Memory / radiation effects*
  • Microwaves*
  • Rats
  • Whole-Body Irradiation / methods*