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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 30, pp 30693–30710 | Cite as

Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation-induced behavioral changes and their possible basis

  • Sareesh Naduvil NarayananEmail author
  • Raghu Jetti
  • Kavindra Kumar Kesari
  • Raju Suresh Kumar
  • Satheesha B. Nayak
  • P. Gopalakrishna Bhat
Review Article

Abstract

The primary objective of mobile phone technology is to achieve communication with any person at any place and time. In the modern era, it is impossible to ignore the usefulness of mobile phone technology in cases of emergency as many lives have been saved. However, the biological effects they may have on humans and other animals have been largely ignored and not been evaluated comprehensively. One of the reasons for this is the speedy uncontrollable growth of this technology which has surpassed our researching ability. Initiated with the first generation, the mobile telephony currently reaches to its fifth generation without being screened extensively for any biological effects that they may have on humans or on other animals. Mounting evidences suggest possible non-thermal biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on brain and behavior. Behavioral studies have particularly concentrated on the effects of RF-EMR on learning, memory, anxiety, and locomotion. The literature analysis on behavioral effects of RF-EMR demonstrates complex picture with conflicting observations. Nonetheless, numerous reports suggest a possible behavioral effect of RF-EMR. The scientific findings about this issue are presented in the current review. The possible neural and molecular mechanisms for the behavioral effects have been proposed in the light of available evidences from the literature.

Keywords

Mobile phone Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation Brain Behavior Anxiety Locomotion Learning and memory Blood-brain barrier 

Abbreviations

RF-EMR

Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation

IARC

International Agency for Research on Cancer

WHO

World Health Organization

SAR

Specific absorption rate

MHz

Megahertz

GSM

Global System for Mobile communication

BBB

Blood-brain barrier

MWM

Morris water maze

Amyloid beta

EPM

Elevated plus maze

OFT

Open field test

Asp

Spartic acid

EMR

Electromagnetic radiation

CA1

Cornu Ammonis 1

CA2

Cornu Ammonis 2

CA3

Cornu Ammonis 3

GHz

Gigahertz

GFAP

Glial fibrillary acidic protein

GSH

Glutathione

MDA

Malondialdehyde

PD

Parkinson’s disease

AD

Alzheimer’s disease

RFR

Radiofrequency radiation

EMF

Electromagnetic fields

EMR

Electromagnetic radiation

GFAP

Glial fibrillary acidic protein

2G

Second generation

RMF

Radiomagnetic field

RF

Radio frequency

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

NO

Nitric oxide

MDA

Malondialdehyde

GSH

Glutathione

CAT

Catalase

AIF

Apoptosis-inducing factor

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

ELF

Extremely low frequency

CDMA

Code Division Multiple Access

HPA axis

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

TRPV1

Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channel

DECT

Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications

APP

Amyloid precursor protein

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Dr. Sampath Kumar, Chief Librarian & other library staff of RAK Medical & Health Sciences University for their support.

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, RAK College of Medical SciencesRAK Medical & Health Sciences UniversityRas Al KhaimahUAE
  2. 2.Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Applied Medical SciencesKing Khalid UniversityAbhaKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Applied PhysicsAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  4. 4.Department of Basic SciencesCollege of Science and Health Professions–Jeddah, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, National Guard Health AffairsJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of Anatomy, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus)Manipal Academy of Higher EducationManipalIndia
  6. 6.Division of Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesManipal Academy of Higher EducationManipalIndia

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