Specific patterns of weak (1 microTesla) transcerebral complex magnetic fields differentially affect depression, fatigue, and confusion in normal volunteers

Electromagn Biol Med. 2009;28(4):365-73. doi: 10.3109/15368370903206630.


Normal young adults were exposed for 20 min once per week for a total of 3 sessions to 1 of 7 configurations of weak (1 microTesla) magnetic fields or to a sham field. The fields were spatially rotated and applied through the brain at the level of the temporoparietal lobes. The Profile of Mood States was taken before and after each session. Before, during, and after the treatments, heart rate, plethysmographic activity, and skin conductance were measured by computer. The results indicated that the burst-firing pattern previously demonstrated to be effective for clinical depression, improved mood and vigour compared to the sham-field or other treatments. Subjects who were exposed to a burst-firing pattern, a complex-sequenced pattern, and a pattern whose electrical equivalents stimulate long-term potential in hippocampus slices also exhibited less psychometric fatigue after the sessions compared to subjects who received the sham field or random-sequenced fields. These results replicate previous studies and indicate that rationally designed complex patterns of magnetic fields may simulate pharmacological treatments.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / radiation effects*
  • Confusion* / metabolism
  • Confusion* / pathology
  • Depression* / metabolism
  • Depression* / pathology
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Fatigue* / metabolism
  • Fatigue* / pathology
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response / physiology
  • Galvanic Skin Response / radiation effects
  • Health*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Heart Rate / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plethysmography, Impedance / radiation effects
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult