The Application of Electromagnetic Energy to The Treatment of Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases

  • Brandon Chandos
  • Arifulla Khan
  • Henry Lai
  • James C. Lin


While the application of ELF electromagnetic fields to neurologic and psychiatric disease may appear promising, it is in its infancy. A great deal of research must be conducted to demonstrate its safety and efficacy. The mechanism of interaction of magnetic fields with the nervous system is still unclear. Apart from seizure induction, the flux density used in the cited studies was very low (pT), the effects seemed to occur very fast and were long-lasting. Magnetites have been identified in cells in the human brain (Kirschvink et al., 1990), however, it has been calculated that magnetic fields higher than 5mT are required to generate sufficient effect on these particles (Adair, 1993). There may be a common pathway as to how EMF improves the conditions in the mentioned diseases. The role of calcium is fundamental in neuronal functioning and may play a key role in elucidating mechanisms of effect. It’s involvement was mentioned in all the diseases, and could probably be associated with the neurotransmitter glutamate. Iron also plays a key role in the pathophysiology of neurologic disease (Sachdew, 1993), but to what extent magnetic field affects iron metabolism in the main remains to be elucidated. Endogenous opioids may also play a role. Magnetic fields have been shown to activate endogenous opioids in the brain (Lai, 1993).


Magnetic Field Multiple Sclerosis Magnetic Stimulation Pineal Gland Visual Evoke Potential 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon Chandos
    • 1
  • Arifulla Khan
    • 2
  • Henry Lai
    • 3
  • James C. Lin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, RG-27University of WashingtonSeattle
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, RP-10University of WashingtonSeattle
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, SJ-30University of WashingtonSeattle
  4. 4.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science(M/C 154)University of IllinoisChicago

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