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Biological effects of alternating magnetic fields with special reference to the visual system
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Department of Neuroscience and Locomotion, Ophthalmology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
1980 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aims of the present investigation were to contribute to more knowledge of the interaction between extremely low frequency magnetic fields and excitable tissue and to widen the basic understanding of the mechanisms behind these effects. The human visual system and the frog retina were used as model systems.

In order to ensure that industrial magnetic flux densities and frequencies were employed in the laboratory studies, the magnetic field levels in the welding and electrosteelindustries at the site ordinarily occupied by the operator were first measured. These processes usually generated fields with a frequency of 50 Hz and a magnetic flux density of 01-10 mT. In the laboratory magnetic fields (0-40 mT, 10-50Hz) were used to induce visual light phenomena, so-called magnetophosphenes, in volunteers. The threshold values for these phosphcnes were detennined as functions of magnetic field frequency as well as of colour and intensity of the background illumination. Maximum field sensitivity occurred at a frequency of approximately 20-30 Hz. With broad spectrum light the threshold flux density was about 10-12 mT. The thresholds were found to be dependent upon the intensity and the spectral distribution of the background light. During dark-adaptation the magnetic field sensitivity decreased. In certain respects volunteers with normal colour vision differed from colour defective ones as far as threshold values are concerned. Possible mechanisms for generation of magnetophosphenes are discussed. The threshold values for magnetophosphenes (0-40 mT) and electrophosphenes (0-0.3 mA) were compared under otherwise identical experimental conditions. In both broad spectrum and monochromatic background lighting the two types of phosphenes had a concurring sensitivity maximum at 20Hz. At higher frequencies there were significant differences in the threshold values. Applying electric current stimulation in different directions did not give rise to any great differences with regard to threshold values within the frequency range 10-30Hz. Frog retinas were exposed to magnetic fields (0-80 mT, 20-30 Hz). The electrical activity in the retina induced by the fields was registered from the ganglion cell layer with the aid of microelectrode technique, whereby a threshold value was obtained at approximately 20 mT and a sensitivity maximum was found at 20 Hz. The magnetic field response occurred within approximately 5 ms, while the light stimulus response occurred only after an average of approximately 85 ms. The latency from light stimulus to response in the ganglion cell layer was significantly prolonged if the preparation was simultaneously and continuously exposed to a magnetic field. Magnetic stimuli similar to light stimuli only induced a response upon 'on', 'off or 'on/off and not during continuous stimulation. Cells which were on-cells during light stimulation became off-cells during magnetic stimulation and vice versa. Addition of Na-aspartate or CoCl2 extinguished simultaneously the response both to light and to magnetic field stimuli. The results indicate that magnetophosphenes are generated in the retina and in the same channels that normally propagate signals induced by light.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings Universitet , 1980. , 45 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 47Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 92
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29491Local ID: 14846ISBN: 91-7372-349-5OAI: diva2:250306
Public defence
1980-05-09, Patologiska institutionens föreläsningssal, Regionsjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)

Papers, included in the Ph.D. thesis, are not registered and included in the posts from 1999 and backwards.

Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-10-22Bibliographically approved

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Department of Biomedical EngineeringThe Institute of TechnologyOphthalmologyFaculty of Health Sciences
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