Monday, January 23, 2012

Study looks at impact of cell phone base station on body's adrenergic system

Study looks at impact of cell phone base station on body's adrenergic system

9 Jan 2012 13:311 comments1 BizLike
Changes of clinically important neurotransmitters from electromagnetic radiation.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
This follow-up of 60 participants over one and a half years claims to show a significant effect on the adrenergic system after the installation of a new cell phone base station in the village of Rimbach (Bavaria).

After the activation of the GSM base station, the study found the levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline increased significantly during the first six months; the levels of the precursor dopamine decreased substantially. The initial levels were not restored even after one and a half years. As an indicator of the dysregulated chronic imbalance of the stress system, the phenylethylamine (PEA) levels dropped significantly until the end of the study period.

The effects are claimed to show a dose-response relationship and occurred well below current limits for technical RF radiation exposures. Chronic dysregulation of the catecholamine system has great relevance for health and is well known to damage human health in the long run.

This study, which analysed human urine samples taken before a cell tower, was deployed in a Bavarian village and for 18 months afterward, shows that the chronically ill as well as children react more strongly than healthy adults. In this study, people with allergies, asthma, and diabetes are among those designated as chronically ill. The authors also report that they show a correlation to the recorded depletion of PEA as a mechanism for the disregulation of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine at the end of the study. They further discuss PEA's involvement in ADD, ADHD and mental illness. From the study:

Within current exposure limits, Friedman could show the stress caused by microwaves in the cell membranes of a cell model (40). The oxygen radicals formed by NADH have an activating effect on subsequent intracellular cascades that amplify the membrane effect by a factor of 107, which in turn substantially change intracellular processes (17). Even reproductive impairments due to microwaves are mediated by the formation of free radicals (41).

In industry, more and more microwave devices are being used for chemical peptoid syntheses, which allow for a 100 times faster and more precise production even without any measurable heating (42). The toxic effects of free radicals formed by microwaves are used in such technical applications as water purification (43).

In several studies, the chronic symptoms of residents near cell tower antennas were described (44-48). Interestingly, the expansion of wireless networks corresponds with the increase in prescription expenses for methylphenidate, a drug whose chemical structure is related to PEA and which is indicated in cases of attention deficit disorder (ADD) (49).

Long-term studies over five years suggested an increased cancer incidence due to microwave exposure (50, 51). Since the catecholamine system is directly linked with the nervous system within the psychoneuroimmunological framework beside its organ-specific effects, the observed increase in cancer incidence can now also be understood from a pathophysiological perspective (6, 15, 52, 53).


Although participants maintained their usual lifestyle, they developed chronic stress with a primary increase in adrenaline/noradrenaline and a subsequent decrease in dopamine in response to the microwave exposure from the newly installed cell phone base station. During the stage of counter-regulation, the "trace amine" PEA decreases and remains decreased.

This is of considerable clinical relevance because psychiatric symptoms also exhibit altered PEA levels. In Rimbach, the increase in sleep problems, cephalgia, vertigo, concentration problems, and allergies could be clinically documented after the cell phone base station had been activated. The newly developed symptoms can be explained clinically with the help of disturbances in the humoral stress axis (53).

After having exhausted the biological feedback mechanisms, major health problems are to be expected. The possible long-term consequences of remaining caught in the exhaustion stage have already been described by Hecht and Selye (3, 16).

Thus, the significant results presented here not only provide clear evidence for health-relevant effects in the study subjects of Rimbach after a new GSM base station had been installed there, but they also offer the opportunity to carry out a causal analysis. This has already been successfully done in the "shut-down study" of Schwarzenburg, Switzerland (54). In Rimbach, the documented levels should return to normal once the relevant base station is shut down.

Epidemiological evidence 

There is current epidemiological evidence for the considerable clinical relevance of the dysfunction of the humoral stress axis with its endpoints of PEA decrease and adrenaline increase, as documented by us.
1. Decreased PEA levels can be found in a large portion of ADD/ADHD patients. As therapy methylphenidate is used, a sub-stance that is structurally related to PEA. Between 1990 and 2004, the boom time of cell phones, prescription costs for this medication had increased by a factor of 86 (49, 55).
2. As part of the German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme, approximately 3000 children and adolescents were studied in Bavaria for their individual cell phone radiation exposure levels in relation to health problems. Among the various data sets, the data set regarding behavioural problems showed a significant increased risk for both adolescents (OR: 3.7, 95%-CI: 1.6-8.4) and also children (OR: 2.9, 95%-CI: 1.4-5.9) in the highest exposure group (56). For the first time, the "Rimbach Study" provides a model of explanation in biochemical terms.
3. Pheochromocytomata are adrenaline- and noradrenaline-secreting tumours of the adrenal gland (57). This type of tumour due to microwave exposure has already been demonstrated in animal experiments in 1985 (5). The increase of this disease in the US population is highly significant. Concurrent with the increase in local microwave exposures due to an increased number of base stations and use of wireless communication technologies, the number of cases have increased from 1927 to 3344 between 1997 and 2006 (58, 59).

(It should be noted that South Africans are being exposed to much higher levels in their homes than noted in this study, due to the lack of control, monitoring and regulations by the South African Government and officials)

Changes of Clinically Important Neurotransmitters - Bavarian study

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