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Chronic exposure to low-intensity magnetic field improves acquisition and maintenance of memory

Liu, Tongtong; Wang, Sheng; He, Lihua; Ye, Kangping

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f8b1a0
Learning and Memory

Although past research has suggested that acute exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELF MF) impairs learning and memory function, data on chronic exposure remain scarce. In this study, we examined the changes in spatial learning and memory by the Morris water maze test after 4 weeks of daily exposure of rats to a 50-Hz magnetic field of 2 mT for either 1 or 4 h. We found that chronic exposure to ELF MF reduced the latency to find the hidden platform and improved long-term memory of former location of platform without affecting the short-term memory and motor activity. These findings for the first time indicate that chronic exposure to ELF MF exerts a positive effect on the acquisition and maintenance of spatial memory.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, PR China

Correspondence to Professor Sheng Wang, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100083, PR China

Tel: +86 108 280 1533; fax: +86 108 280 1533; e-mail: shengw2008@hotmail.com

Received 2 January 2008; accepted 17 January 2008

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.