From the very creation living things have been affected by geoelectric and geomagnetic fields and in that sense balance is achieved. As civilization has developed this balance has been disrupted. In modern buildings where armed concrete carriers are installed, the geomagnetic field is significantly reduced (up to 100 times) and in such an artificially created hypomagnetic environment, in experimental conditions, a set of organic dysfunctions occurs. Experiments on rats have been conducted in a controlled hypomagnetic environment. The experiment was conducted in cages where the geomagnetic field was reduced 600 times. The animals’ growth was recorded on the fifth, thirteenth and twenty sixth day of postnatal period and after a month the animals were sacrificed. Pregnancy in females went normally and the number of the young was the same as in the control group, but in further development their mortality was 30% higher in comparison with the mortality rates in the control group. It was also recorded that in the hypomagnetic group the young exhibited increased movement, shortly after followed by a period of complete inactivity. A yellow shadow appears on the liver, and in some, even cirrhotic changes.
A number of studies indicate that there is no room for doubt that the electromagnetic fields are an important etiological factor and their presence in the environment is necessary for an organism to have normal life activities so their deficit may have serious consequences for the organism.
Natural geomagnetic field certainly has an effect on the organism of a healthy and especially sick person.
These studies are not in agreement and inexplicably there are still too few of them, but they certainly require our attention and further consideration. With geomagnetic field oscillations (geomagnetic storms) other manifestations in the biosphere appear, which, also, affect the organism of a human by causing the release of gasses in the ground, primarily radon (Rn-222), on average up to five times during every magnetic storm, and this has a two-fold effect on organisms:
- While breathing Rn enriched air the ion radiation dose in the internal organs is increased,
- in atmosphere, i.e. in the air we breathe, the concentration of positively charged ions increases.
Both of these factors cause physiological changes in the organism. it is still unclear how reversible these changes are.
This, obviously, depends on the health condition in a person, i.e. on the person’s immunity, so that in sick people we may expect deterioration of the existing pathology.
Practically, it can be said that in every living organism there is a mechanism which has the option to receive external electromagnetic waves. According to the received information an effector response is triggered in the organism which causes changes inside its own internal electromagnetic field. These changes are neutralized or balanced out, and from time to time aperiodic wobbling of the Earth’s external electromagnetic fields occurs.
All of this incites further study of the effects of magnetic stimulation applied to biological tissues.
Electromagnetic stimulation of biological tissue is the most commonly neglected research and therapy area.
However, through history, magnet therapy dates back to 2500 years ago when magnets were considered universal healing devices.
It is important to mention that the word “electric” is introduced for the first time in the descriptions of old techniques from 16th century. It was coined by an English physicist William Gilbert, and in 1663 Otto Von Guericke created the first generator, practically an electro-stimulator so that from the year 1700 some researchers begin to study the effects of electroshocks on pain sensation and muscle contraction.
With the discovery of the Leyden jar the perfection of stimulators begins and a physician, Galvani, at the end of 18th century, starts to engage in stimulative effects of electricity and publishes his initial studies on electro-stimulation of tissues. After his death Volta continues with this research to explain the galvanic electricity and produce the first battery in 1789. By this invention electro-stimulation obtains more possibilities and becomes more significant.
Even though Volta was a biomedical engineer, his invention is more often used in other areas and less frequently in medicine. After Michael Faraday’s invention in 1831 stimulators are further perfected.
D’ Arsonval noticed in 1896 that, when in a variable magnetic field, people experience flickering visual sensation. This phenomenon was termed “magnetophosphene” and it is a confirmation of a magnetic field’s stimulative effect on the biological tissue.
Encouraged by D’Arsonval’s discovery, Magnusson and Stevens try to stimulate the nerve trunk of a cat in 1911, but without success. This
failure discouraged the researchers so that this area remains uninvestigated until 1959 when Collin succeeds in stimulating the nerve trunk. Regardless of the success, research in the area of biomagnetism has not made much progress.
The interest for biomagnetism in our country starts to grow in the sixties when doctor Savić established that ferromagnetic material may induce epileptic focus. Beleslin and his co-researchers created the first magnetic stimulator with induction coils for the stimulation of the head of a monkey in 1962. Unfortunately, the experiments were difficult to conduct due to a set of technical problems. It was necessary to construct the electrodes, conductors and supporters out of diamond. Furthermore, there were issues with the experimental animals, so many of the planned experiments were abandoned. However, evidence was obtained about the stimulative effect of the impulse magnetic field by using this stimulator in the beginning of 1972. After that, there was some work on the development of a stimulator for bone healing and for treating some conditions in orthopedia and traumatology, as well as on the application of the stimulator in stomatology and acupuncture.
The data about the bactericidal effect of the magnetic field are a special influence in our research.
In experiments conducted by using water with the added E. coli bacteria, where water was slowly flowing between the poles of a magnet, at a certain speed and magnetic field intensity, the number of bacteria dropped from 100000 per ml to zero. This is especially effective if water is heated up to 60 degrees C. If water is only heated up without the effects of a magnetic field the bactericidal effect is weak.
Contributing to the bactericidal effect is the fact that in experiments with animals which had a fracture followed by an infection, the magnetic field increased the bactericidal effect of antibiotics, the post-traumatic edema was reduced and the healing of the fracture was accelerated.
An electromagnetic field in the toothless area alleviates RRG not only on the side where the solenoid is placed but also on the contralateral side. Bacteriological analysis confirms that magnetic fields have an anti-spirochaete effect.
The evident relation between the effects of a magnetic field and bacteria was confirmed with bacteria in natural water. They are sensitive to magnetic fields. In the presence of ferric oxide, magnetite, they are oriented and move in the direction of the magnetic field lines. This movement was termed magnetotaxis. Magnetotactic bacteria were discovered in the seventies (R. BLackmore 1982, Framel 1982) when it was shown that bacteria travel along the magnetic field and group in the north pole area. When the field direction changed bacteria would change direction as well, swimming in the direction of the field. This phenomenon is a characteristic of a set of bacterial species which have two common properties: they are anaerobic and possess the property of magnetosomes. (This is achieved by a special intercytoplasmic structure which consists of Fe3 O4.)
In a set of studies it was stressed that electromagnetic fields inhibit the development of certain bacteria and fungi, as well as, slow down their multiplication.
Grossman and Kolar also did some research on the effects of a static magnetic field on some pathogenic microorganisms, in particular E. coli
and Staphyloccocus aureus. Microorganisms were exposed to a static magnetic field of a certain intensity for a period of time between 30 and 120 minutes. They did not get some significant effects in terms of growth and their biochemical activity as are achieved by some antibiotics. Many authors have such ideas, but mostly claim that magnetic fields inactivate microorganisms, but in combination with some other actions.
Aside from the bactericidal effect, cytostatic effects of a magnetic field are very important because so far it has been established that magnetic fields do not destroy tissue, but possibly reduce tumors. In this respect there were experiments on METH-A sarcoma in mice. The cytostatic effect of a magnetic field with the intensity of 1,44 MA/m on sarcoma was confirmed. The efficacy of a constant magnetic field on malignant tumors depends on many factors: field intensity, time of exposure, type of tumor and their growth time span.
Under the influence of a magnetic field cell resistance is reduced, that is, the transfer in the cell membrane is increased. If we take into consideration that in cancerous tissues cell resistance increases then the reduction of resistance under the influence of magnetic stimulators confirms the possibility of cytostatic effects of magnetic stimulators.
There is, also, research on the effects of a magnetic field on protein macromolecules in the sense of increasing their absorption.
It’s been concluded that magnetic fields have no effects on radiated cells of mammals in vitro. Under the influence of magnetic fields motor activity in rats increases in comparison to the control group.
Variable magnetic field is used in therapy with the goal to excrete bladder stones.
Research conducted on the Institute for pathological physiology of the Medical university in Belgrade, also, confirms the data.
On the international symposium of magnetic stimulation, the basic principles and progress of magnetic stimulation from 19th century onwards was discussed.
Magnetic stimulation is based on the principle of electromagnetic stimulation discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831. He showed that electricity appears in electric conductors when exposed to a magnetic field. If pulsing field is used for magnetic stimulation, it induces electrical pulsing in the conductor and that induces electricity in the body. If the current is of an adequate amplitude, strength and orientation it will stimulate important structures in the body, the same way as electricity produced via electrodes in a different manner.
Electro and magnetic stimulation have their disadvantages and advantages. Disadvantages are expensive and large equipment, and high frequency stimulation is difficult to achieve. Advantages are that in the absence of electrodes there are no inconveniences, there is a possibility of selective activation of deeper tissues and it is possible to apply more intense stimulation (in psychiatric patients). Barker says that a magnet stimulates, and reduces pain. Other authors mention such application of magnets.
Magnets are also applied in experimental neurological research. The effects of static magnetic fields on the distribution of action potential in neuron culture have been studied and measured in experimental
conditions. It was confirmed that static magnetic fields cause a blockage of dorsal roots of a sensory neuron in vitro. In expert studies (90 – 97), the effects of magnetic transcranial stimulation of the brain were described.
From 1st to 4th October, 1998 in Göttingen (Germany) an international symposium on transcranial magnetic stimulation was held. Methods and successful treatments were presented. Based on this it is evident that treatment is not grounded on placebo effects, but on the effect of magnetic fields, which is registered by instruments.
Bearing in mind that brain circulation is invaluable, considering that discontinued blood flow during a time span of 5 seconds can lead to loss of consciousness, 5 minutes to permanent brain damage and over 5 minutes to lethal consequences, this is a serious problem. So, research is conducted with the goal to ascertain the effects of magnet stimulation, magnetic induction 60mT on the brain.