Whole-body pulsed EMF stimulation improves cognitive and psychomotor activity in senescent rats

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Abstract

During advanced aging passive exercise (PE) is becoming a valuable therapeutic intervention to improve physical and mental performances. In the present study chronic low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure was presented to senescent rats in order to clarify the behavioural effects related to cognitive and motility functions. Male Wistar rats of 30–32 months old were treated with EMF for six weeks, 3 times per week, 24 min per sessions prior to the age of 32 months. Stimulation intensities varied from 45 to 1250 μT. Psychomotility was estimated in an open field (OF), attention ability in novel object recognition (NOR), and spatial learning in the Morris water maze (MWM) tests. The results showed that EMF stimulation enhanced novelty-induced motility of vertical type, i.e. frequency of rearing activity was increased. In the cognitive tests EMF exposure increased attention-based discrimination in NOR and facilitated working memory type of spatial learning in the MWM tests. No undesirable type of side effects could be obtained even after the highest dose used. It is concluded that EMF stimulation in senescent age supports cognitive and psychomotor function in rats. The notion that PE may have complementary beneficial action on brain and motor functions in senescent age is strengthened by the present experimental results.

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