Effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by GSM phones on working memory: a meta-analysis

Zubko, O., Gould, R. L., Gay, H. C., Cox, H. J., Coulson, Mark and Howard, R. J. (2017) Effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by GSM phones on working memory: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 32 (2). pp. 125-135. ISSN 0885-6230 (Published online first)

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Abstract

Background and Objective: Current treatments for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) do not affect the course of the illness and brain stimulation techniques are increasingly promoted as potential therapeutic inter-ventions for AD. This study reviews the effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure versus sham exposure on working memory (WM) performance of healthy human participants.
Method: Online literature databases and previous systematic reviews were searched for studies of EMF and WM in participants without reported memory problems. Two thousand eight hundred and fifty seven studies were identified, and 10 studies met the inclusion criteria. An assessment of study quality was completed, and separate, random effects meta-analyses were conducted for each of the three WM tasks included: n-back, substitution and digit span forward.
Results: No differences were found between participants exposed to active EMF versus sham conditions in any of the three working memory tasks examined.
Conclusion: Results indicate that EMF does not affect WM during the n-back, substitution and digit-span tasks. Future studies should focus on the possible effects of chronic exposure to EMF in older adults with AD using a battery of comparable WM and attention tasks, before EMF can be seriously considered as a potential modulator of WM in AD.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): working memory; electromagnetic fields; brain stimulation
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 21075
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Zubko, O., Gould, R. L., Gay, H. C., Cox, H. J., Coulson, M. C., and Howard, R. J. (2017) Effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by GSM phones on working memory: a meta-analysis. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 32: 125–135. doi: 10.1002/gps.4581, which has been published in final form at http://doi.org/10.1002/gps.4581. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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Depositing User: Mark Coulson
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 10:36
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 06:54
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/21075

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