An article by Dr. M.L. Pall was written to explain the mechanism whereby electromagnetic low-frequency microwaves alter the human nervous system and cause neuropsychiatric symptoms. Microwave syndrome is used to describe a variety of symptoms seen in people who work around microwave frequency EMFs, including fatigue, headache, insomnia, impaired sensation, irritability, lack of concentration and other symptoms. However, until now we have had no explanation of how this happens physiologically.
Calcium channels are structures located in cell walls which pump calcium ions into the cells. Dr. Pall has collected 26 scientific articles demonstrating that low-voltage microwaves affect cellular calcium channels and that may be blocked by calcium channel inhibitors. In one study, the effect was seen almost immediately when microwaves were applied. The high density of VGCCs* (voltage-gated calcium channel) throughout the nervous system their as well as their role in neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine functions suggest that the nervous system will be sensitive to low intensity EMFs. VGCC activation by low-frequency EMFs is responsible for a number of functions in the cell. These include increased levels of calcium and neurotransmitter release in the brain and the release of hormones by endocrine cells. A number of genetic studies have shown that a specific abnormality of DNA associated with activation of one type of VGCC results in neuropsychiatric abnormalities. Therefore, it is logical that EMFs which activate the same type of VGCCs would be associated with some neuropsychiatric disorder.
Histologic studies of cell changes by EMFs were largely done by the Russians in the 1950s and 1960s. Pulsed EMFs are more likely to damage cells. The tissues which are most sensitive to EMFs are central and peripheral nervous system, heart muscle, and testis in descending order of sensitivity. The brain is especially impacted in the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Much of damage results from prolonged calcium elevation inside the cells. After a short exposure, neurologic changes are reversible after removal from EMF, but become permanent after a long exposure.
The U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute in 1971 reported 40 different neuropsychiatric abnormalities resulting from microwaves. The Bolen Report of the United States Air Force in 1994 acknowledged the impact that non-thermal (no temperature change) low-frequency microwaves may have on the human body.
Recent epidemiologic studies document neuropsychiatric symptoms of people living close to cell phone towers, and reports of prolonged headaches following prolonged cell phone calls. The headaches occur on the same side of the head as cell phone usage. In workers exposed to EMFs, the longer the exposure time, the higher the risk of developing symptoms.
People with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) have similar neuropsychiatric symptoms to people with microwave EMF exposure. These include short term memory loss, trouble concentrating, eye symptoms, sleep disorders, headaches, dizziness, ringing of the ears, fatigue, tremors, pains, tingling of the hands or feet, trouble with walking, and migraines.
CONCLUSION: Dr. Pall finds compelling evidence that non-thermal EMF microwave exposure is the cause of symptoms of “microwave syndrome”, resulting in a wide variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms. EMFs act on the VGCCs to release neurotransmitters and hormones to cause these symptoms. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a real biologic syndrome based on EMF exposure.
NOTE: *VGCC refers to the fact that the calcium channels are stimulated by a change in voltage applied to them.
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Pall, ML. Microwave Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Produce Widespread Neuropsychiatric Effects Including Depression. J Chem Neuroanat. 2015 Aug. 21. (Epub ahead of print.) Washington State University, Portland, Oregon, USA.