The role of magnetic fields in neurodegenerative diseases

Int J Biometeorol. 2021 Jan;65(1):107-117. doi: 10.1007/s00484-020-01896-y. Epub 2020 Mar 20.


The term neurodegenerative diseases include a long list of diseases affecting the nervous system that are characterized by the degeneration of different neurological structures. Among them, Alzheimer disease (AD), Parkinson disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most representative ones. The vast majority of cases are sporadic and results from the interaction of genes and environmental factors in genetically predisposed individuals. Among environmental conditions, electromagnetic field exposure has begun to be assessed as a potential risk factor for neurodegeneration. In this review, we discuss the existing literature regarding electromagnetic fields and neurodegenerative diseases. Epidemiological studies in AD, PD, and ALS have shown discordant results; thus, a clear correlation between electromagnetic exposure and neurodegeneration has not been demonstrated. In addition, we discuss the role of electromagnetic radiation as a potential non-invasive therapeutic strategy for some neurodegenerative diseases, particularly for PD and AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Electromagnetic fields; Neurodegenerative diseases; Parkinson’s disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / epidemiology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis* / epidemiology
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease*