Electromagnetic Field Therapies: A Bibliography from Medline

Phil Rogers MVB MRCVS
1, Esker Lawns, Lucan, Dublin, Ireland
e-mail : philrogers@tinet.ie

8. General information on EMF Therapy

Anand S (1982) Some aspects of biomedical engineering research in New Delhi. J Med Eng Technol Nov;6(6):236-241. Biomedical engineering has been recognized in India for the last decade. Technological developments have been in areas of importance to the country, with several groups actively involved in the promotion of bioengineering, particularly in New Delhi. A group at the National Physical Lab has contributed significantly to the field of ultrasonics as well as to the development of piezoelectric transducers for other biomedical uses. The Ctr for Biomedical Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology and the All India Institute of Med Sciences is one of the country's leading centres producing outstanding work in areas like instrumentation, rehabilitation, biomaterials, modelling and analysis. Research in technology applied to reproductive physiology (an area especially relevant to India's needs) was initiated at this centre. Research at the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru Univ has elucidated the effects and mechanisms of the action of low-energy EM radiation and ultrasound on biological systems: one of the school's projects successfully showed the use of bone material for ultrasonic transducers and optical detectors. A selected list of publications shows the wide spectrum of research carried out at these institutions. PMID: 7154053, UI: 83111864

Barker AT (1994) Electricity, magnetism and the body: some uses and abuses. J R Soc Health Apr;114(2):91-97. Dept of Med Physics and Clinical Engineering, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. The human body is an extraordinarily complex electrical machine. It responds to externally applied EM stimuli and aspects of its functionality can be interrogated electromagnetically to aid in diagnosis. The paper describes examples of interactions between electromagnetism and the body. EM therapies are discussed in the light of the disappointing lack of objective evidence to support claims for their effectiveness. PMID: 8021899, UI: 94293268

Bassett CA (1989) Fundamental and practical aspects of therapeutic uses of pulsed EMFs (PEMFs). Crit Rev Biomed Eng 17(5):451-529. Dept of Orthopedic Surgery, Columbia Univ, New York, New York. The beneficial therapeutic effects of selected low-energy, time-varying magnetic fields, called PEMFs, have been documented with increasing frequency since 1973. Initially, this form of athermal energy was used mainly as a salvage for patients with long-standing juvenile and adult non-unions. Many of these individuals were candidates for amputation. Their clearly documented resistance to the usual forms of surgical treatment, including bone grafting, served as a reasonable control in judging the efficacy of this new therapeutic method, particularly when PEMFs were the sole change in patient management. More recently, the biological effectiveness of this approach in augmenting bone healing has been confirmed by several highly significant double-blind and controlled prospective studies in less challenging clinical circumstances. There is also double-blind evidence of therapeutic effects in other clinical disorders. These data, coupled with well-controlled lab findings on pertinent mechanisms of action, have begun to place PEMFs on a therapeutic par with surgically invasive methods but at considerably less risk and cost. As a result of these clinical observations and concerns about EM "pollution", interactions of nonionizing EMFs with biological processes have been the subject of increasing investigational activity. Over the past decade, the number of publications on these topics has risen exponentially. They now include textbooks, speciality journals, regular reviews by government agencies, and articles in a wide spectrum of peer-reviewed, scientific sources. In a recent editorial in Current Contents, the editor reviews the frontiers of biomedical engineering focusing on Science Citation Index methods for identifying core research endeavors. Dr Garfield chose PEMFs from among other biomedical engineering efforts as an example of a rapidly emerging discipline. Three new societies in bioelectromagnetics, bioelectrochemistry, and bioelectrical growth and repair have been organized during this time, along with a number of national and international committees and conferences. These activities augment a continuing interest by the IEEE in the USA and the IEE in the UK. This review focuses on the principles and practice behind the therapeutic use of "PEMFs". This term is restricted to time-varying magnetic field characteristics that induce voltage waveform patterns in bone similar to those resulting from mechanical deformation. These asymmetric, broad-band pulses affect a number of biologic processes athermally. Many of these processes seem to have the ability to modify selected pathologic states in the musculoskeletal and other systems. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 2686932, UI: 90075745

Battocletti JH, Salles-Cunha S, Halbach RE, Nelson J, Sances A Jr, Antonich FJ (1981) Exposure of rhesus monkeys to 20000 G steady magnetic field: effect on blood parameters. Med Phys Jan;8(1):115-118. 16 monkeys were used to study the effects, or noneffects, of exposure to a steady magnetic field of 2 T (20000 G). Arterial and venous blood samples were taken before, immediately after, and several weeks after the test. Blood gas analyses were made of arterial samples, and hemotologic cell data and Technicon SMAC analyses were made of venous samples. Differential and absolute white blood cell counts of segmented neutrophils and lymphocytes were considerably changed during the test, even for monkeys which were not exposed to the magnetic field. These changes have been seen also in monkeys whose environment and daily routine are modified appreciably. 8/16 monkeys were tested twice, (1) in the magnet with the magnet turned on, and (2) 2 mo later, in the magnet, but with the magnet turned off. A large superconducting magnet (0.63 m i.d. and 1.85 m long warm-air bore) was used, which accommodated 2 monkeys at a time. Paired-t tests of 45 blood parameters showed no significant differences between the two tests. Exposure to a gradient field compared with exposure to a uniform magnetic field showed no significant differences. PMID: 7207419, UI: 81148391

Belehradek J Jr, Orlowski S, Ramirez LH, Pron G, Poddevin B, Mir LM (1994) Electropermeabilization of cells in tissues assessed by the qualitative and quantitative electroloading of bleomycin. Biochim Biophys Acta Feb 23;1190(1):155-163. Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Moleculaire URA 147 CNRS-U 140 INSERM, Institute Gustave-Roussy, PRII, Villejuif, France. Using cells in suspension, electropermeabilization is a technique extensively used to transfect living cells or to introduce a variety of compounds inside the cells. Here we show the reality of tissue electropermeabilization using qualitative and quantitative determinations of the electroloading of bleomycin considered as an nonpermeant molecule that serves as an indicator of the permeabilization. In tissues, cell electropermeabilization is achieved for electric field intensities lower than those necessary to permeabilize the same cells in suspension. We also emphasize the importance of the geometry of the electric field lines defined by the electrodes for permeabilizing a whole tissue, for example a tumor. PMID: 7509192, UI: 94153968

Bogoliubov VM, Kniazeva TA, Mokina MN, Orlovskaia TE, Ponomarev IuT (1985) [Effect of an EMF of decimetric wave range on carbohydrate metabolism in patients with diabetes mellitus - Article in Russian]. Sov Med 11:16-18. PMID: 4089635, UI: 86123126

Danz J (1979) [Thermography indices in virtually healthy persons exposed to a high-frequency electrical and magnetic field - Article in Russian]. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult Sep;5:57-59. PMID: 538904, UI: 80149143

Fisher JC (1983) The medical laser: an indispensable tool of the physician and surgeon. Med Instrum Nov;17(6):398-400. The enormous proliferation of developments in the field of lasers has brought many changes and improvements to medicine. Lasers generate EM radiation unique in nature: Their light is coherent, collimated, and monochromatic. Because of these qualities, laser rays can be focused to very small spots of enormous power density. The wavelengths produced by a particular type of laser are determined by the characteristic energy levels of the emitting elements in the laser medium. The wavelengths of lasers currently used in therapy and surgery range from about 400 nm to 10,600 nm; at surgical power densities and at these wavelengths, because photonic ionization of atoms does not take place, laser rays are not oncogenic. Lasers can be used for converting radiant energy into heat in living tissues, for stimulating or moderating chemical reactions, or for mechanically disrupting histologic structure. Argon-ion, carbon dioxide, helium-neon, neodymium-doped yttrium-aluminum-garnet, ruby, organic-dye, and krypton-ion lasers are frequently used in medicine for therapeutic, analytical, or surgical applications. Laser use in medicine will increase as new developments bring forth new applications. PMID: 6669100, UI: 84141419

Hiss E (1984) [Technical observations on magnetic field therapy - Article in German]. Orthopade Apr;13(2):93-96. PMID: 6610158, UI: 84220957

Irvine RD (1982) Pulsing EMF treatment. JAMA Aug 27;248(8):921. Publication Types: Letter PMID: 7097952, UI: 82242486

Jacobson JI (1996) Therapeutic radiology: a potential unfolding through bioelectromagnetic sciences. Altern Ther Health Med Sep;2(5):49-55. Institute of Theoretical Physics and Advanced Studies for Biophysical Research, Jupiter, Fla., USA. Clinical and experimental research in the area of bioelectromagnetics is reviewed and considered from a physical standpoint. An equation relating the intrinsic or "rest" energy of a charged particle with its energy of interaction in an externally applied magnetic field is proposed. This equation is intended to represent an initial basic physical interaction that may be part of a more complex biological mechanism that may explain the potential effects of externally applied magnetic fields. Speculations are presented on the potential use of magnetic fields for the noninvasive treatment of such diverse conditions as cancer, AIDS, and neurological disorders. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 8795936, UI: 96388536

Jacobson JI (1992) Exploring the potential of magneto-recrystallization of genes and associated structures with respect to nerve regeneration and cancer. Int J Neurosci May;64(1-4):153-165. Institute of Theoretical Physics and Advanced Studies for Biophysical Research, Jupiter, Florida 33458. Very weak magnetic fields are associated with the human brain and heart. These fields, seemingly physiologic, are about 1,000,000 times weaker than the steady geomagnetic field, which measures about 0.5 Gauss. Fields of about 10(-8) Gauss are perhaps correlable to genomic masses and associated structures like peptide hormone trophic factors. The connection between genes and magnetic fields is made from a new form of resonance called Jacobson Resonance. Jacobson Resonance, represented by the equation mc2=Bvl coulomb, is explained. Indeed, we may view the possibility of linking human EM interactions with mechanical vibrations of the crystalline lattices of genes and associated critical molecules like growth factors. As these fields are applied to the equations for solenoidal models, currents of about 1 uA are derived; in perfect accord with recent clinical data indicating the therapeutic efficacy of weak currents in repair and growth of soft tissue, bone and nerve. The mechanism of reorientation of spin angular momentum of electrons and protons influencing molecular magnetic domains to bring about 'particle jumps' is presented so that a clinical picture results. The clinical picture is that of an organism placed at right angles to flux lines in the midst of a solenoid immersed in water exposed then to exogenously applied resonant physiologic magnetic fields. They may convert malalligned atomic lattices of oncogenes and associated particles to homologous normal structures which may promulgate an adjustment to physiological homeostasis. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 1342035, UI: 94095350

Jacobson JI (1996) Speculations on the influence of electromagnetism on genomic and associated structures. J Int Med Res Jan;24(1):1-11. Institute of Theoretical Physics and Advanced Studies for Biophysical Research, Jupiter, Florida, USA. Recent clinical and experimental works in the area of bioelectromagnetics are reviewed and considered from a physical viewpoint. An equation relating the intrinsic (or 'rest') energy of a charged particle with its energy of interaction in an externally applied magnetic field is proposed. This equation is intended to represent an initial basic physical interaction which may be part of a more complex biological mechanism that may explain the potential effects of externally applied magnetic fields. The potential use of magnetic fields for the non-invasive treatment of such diverse conditions such as cancer, AIDS and neurological disorders are proposed. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 8674786, UI: 96231147

Jacobson JI (1994) Jacobson resonance: the coupling mechanism for weak EMF bioeffects, and a new way to approach magneto therapy. Panminerva Med Mar;36(1):34-41. Institute of Theoretical Physics and Advanced Studies for Biophysical Research, Jupiter, Florida 334377-1418. Jacobson Resonance is explained in fundamental terms. The essential predictions are stated and supported clinically, experimentally and epidemiologically. Weak magnetic fields influence biological systems in ways previously not known. The potential is scrutinized. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 8090541, UI: 94377236

Ketchen EE, Porter WE, Bolton NE (1978) The biological effects of magnetic fields on man. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J Jan;39(1):1-11. The biological effects of the interaction of stationary magnetic fields (SMF) with man and other animals were reviewed. 80-100 G is the lowest detectable limit of interaction between higher animals and SMFs. 200 G is the recommended limit for whole-body or head exposure over an extended period. Higher limits of magnetic-field exposure for limited periods of time are contained within this report. PMID: 415587, UI: 78121024

Kucherenko AE, Shevchuk VI (1976) [Treatment of various diseases of the limb stumps by alternating magnetic field - Article in Russian]. Klin Khir Jul;7:47-49. PMID: 1018446, UI: 77122057

Lightwood R (1989) The remedial EMF. J Biomed Eng Sep;11(5):429-436. Dept of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham. This paper reviews the history and development of electric and EMFs used in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions. An account is given of their clinical use and some suggestions are advanced for an explanation of a possible physiological mechanism. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 2677524, UI: 90013291

Lobchenko AI, Starozhinskaia TA, Zosimov AN, Semenenko NM (1981) [Effect of a magnetic field on the course of an experimental tubercular infection - Article in Russian]. Probl Tuberk May;5:63-66. PMID: 7255393, UI: 81247307

Ovcharova VF (1978) [Current status and the prospects for the development of research in the field of medical climatology, climatotherapy and climatopathology - Article in Russian]. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult Nov;6:7-13. Publication Types: Review PMID: 364830, UI: 79078585

Pafkova H, Jerabek J, Tejnorova I, Bednar V (1996) Developmental effects of magnetic field (50 Hz) in combination with ionizing radiation and chemical teratogens. Toxicol Lett Nov;88(1-3):313-316. National Institute of Public Health, Praha, Czech Republic. The influence of a 50 Hz magnetic field (MF) on avian and mammalian embryogenesis, the MF level and vector, as well as the effect of exposure to MF (50 Hz, 10 mT) in combination with X-rays has been recently reported [2,3]. No significant alterations of chick or rat embryogenesis were found after repeated exposures to 50 Hz MF at 10 mT or 6 uT or with different vectors. However, X-ray chick embryotoxicity was significantly affected by repeated exposures of developing organisms to MF. A strong dependence of effect on the type of interaction was revealed. A decrease of X-ray induced teratogenicity was seen when MF preceded X-ray exposure (indirect interaction), while MF exposure applied immediately after X-ray radiation (direct interaction) non-significantly potentiated adverse developmental effects of ionizing radiation. This study deals with the effects of MF in combination with insulin or tetracycline. Exposure of chick embryos to MF influenced the sensitivity of embryonic morphogenetic systems to the subsequently administered chemical teratogens, insulin and/or tetracycline. A protective effect of MF was detected similarly as in the case of indirect interaction with ionizing radiation. PMID: 8920754, UI: 97079022

Pilla AA, Markov MS (1994) Bioeffects of weak EMFs. Rev Environ Health Jul;10(3-4):155-169. Dept of Orthopedics, Mount Sinai School of Med, New York, NY 10029, USA. Time varying magnetic fields are most often employed for therapeutic purposes and are present in environmental sources. In order for an EMF bioeffect to be possible, the signal parameters should not only satisfy the dielectric properties of the target, but also induce sufficient voltage to be detectable above thermal noise. The problem of the sensitivity of living cells and tissues is discussed in relation to signal/noise ratio at the target site. Some biophysical models for interactions of weak EMFs with biological systems are summarized. Cell studies and therapeutic application of electric and magnetic fields show that weak EMFs can have a profound effect on a large variety of biological systems. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 7724875, UI: 95241835

Rutsai SV, Surkova IS (1983) [Effect of an EMF on conditioned reflex maintenance and the nucleic acid content of brain tissues during carotid artery constriction - Article in Russian]. Biull Eksp Biol Med May;95(5):62-64. In chronic experiments on 54 rats, during ligation of the carotid artery, the action of the decimetric EMF (DMB-irradiation) sometimes caused paroxysms leading to death but sometimes caused the conditioned reflexes to normalise, accompanied by an increase in RNA content in the cortex of the large hemispheres. Mechanisms of an inconclusive action of DMB-irradiation are discussed, as are the importance of changes in RNA content in the cortex for the mechanisms of a favourable action of irradiation on the recovery of brain function in circulatory disorders. Possibilities of using DMB-irradiation in clinical conditions are also discussed. PMID: 6189533, UI: 83205257

Schwing C (1988) [Magnetic field therapy: legal tricks instead of effectiveness: Controversial tactics of the federal health society: current availability blocks decision: financial stress for health insurance - Article in German]. Fortschr Med Apr 20;106(12):76-77. PMID: 3135257, UI: 88284630

Solov'eva GR (1982) [Current sources of a magnetic field usable for treatment - Article in Russian]. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult May;3:62-65. PMID: 7113046, UI: 82279121

Subrahmanyam S, Satyanarayana M, Rajeswari KR (1986) Alcoholism: newer methods of management. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol Jan;30(1):43-54. Chronic alcoholics were selected from hospitals and AA Centres and subjected to different methods of treatment namely, psychotherapy, stereotaxic surgery, nonvolitional biofeedback, Yoga and meditation and extremely low frequency Pulsed Magnetic Field. Each group comprised at least 20 subjects. All were males, aged 20-45 yr. Investigations done were clinical, psychological, biochemical, neurochemical and electrophysiological. Improvement was noticed in all the patients, the degree varying with the different methods of treatment. The patients were followed up at least for a period of 1 yr. PMID: 3818032, UI: 87136087

Viktorov VA, Malkov IuV (1994) [Equipment design for magnetic therapy and "Polus" devices - Article in Russian]. Med Tekh May;3:26-32. Low-frequency magnetotherapy is among the most original therapies since it is effective in treating most diseases and has practically no contraindications. Due to atraumaticity of a low-frequency EMF, the application of magnetotherapy is indicated in geriatric care, in particular. The VNIIMP-VITA Joint-Stock Company has developed a family of the Polyus system equipment for magnetotherapy, whereby all the well-known therapeutic procedures of low-frequency magnetotherapy can be performed. The magnetotherapeutic room equipped with Polyus-2D, Polyus-3, and Polyus-4 ensures a complete set of magneto-therapeutic exposure. The rooms are supplied by the VNIIMP-VITA Joint-Stock Company. Publication Types: Review Review, tutorial PMID: 7934729, UI: 95020431

Weissel M, Kolarz G (1982) [Plasma cortisol levels and magnetic field therapy: Initial orientational study - Article in German]. Med Welt Jul 30;33(29-30):1059-1061. Publication Types: Clinical trial Controlled clinical trial PMID: 7121239, UI: 83012102