Yes, concludes a study recently reported by New Scientist magazine. The study was carried out at City University in New York where researchers used pulsed electromagnetic fields directed at the brains of mice for a period of five days.
At the end of the experiment, the mice were sacrificed and their brains analyzed under a microscope. What the researchers found was remarkable: compared to controls, the brains of treated mice had developed stronger connections between neurons, indicating better function.
This by itself would have been significant enough, but researchers found more: in treated mice the brains showed proliferation of stem cells in areas associated with learning, memory, and moods. It is now known that stem cells are present and divide throughout life in the brain, where scientists believe they play a determining role in preserving health and repairing damage. Therefore any therapy found to activate stem cells could also stimulate healing of the brain and, conceivably, recovery from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and possibly even autism.
You can read about the study at http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/mg19426053.300-magnets-may-make-the-brain-grow-stronger.html.
This study was especially interesting to me because for the past year I have been using in my office a German-made pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) device called QRS (Quantron Resonance Systems), and I have also recommended it to several of my patients for home use.
There is a great deal of confusion about electromagnetic fields. Many people have only heard of the dangers of EMFs and have expressed a legitimate concern for the safety of such a device. However, it is important to realize that while we in the United States have heard little or nothing about therapeutic PEMF, these have been researched for more than 30 years in Europe and the World Health Organization (WHO) has established clear safety standards for such devices.
The QRS is not only well within these standards, it has been studied extensively in Germany for the past 20 years and its safety has been established for individuals of all ages, including infants and cancer patients. The QRS uses fields that are in the same frequencies as those naturally occurring in the human body and significantly below the intensity of the earth’s magnetic field. Because of this, the QRS has the capacity to “reset” the body’s natural electric connections, thus protecting us from interfering EMFs such as those of cell phones, computers, or microwave ovens.
You can read more about the QRS and the research behind it at http://www.quantronmedicine.com
As I started recommending the QRS to my patients I immediately noticed improvements in moods, focus, and drive even in people who had not expressed concerns in those areas. Children focused better but what was even more remarkable to me was that they were happier, and this was often the first change we noticed. Autistic children’s behaviors became more appropriate: they no longer screamed in public places or woke up the entire family at all hours of the night.
I attributed these improvements to normalized electrical activity, but this mouse study seems to suggest that electromagnetic fields actually have a more profound and regenerating effect in the brain.
Both the QRS and the device used in the study employ pulsed electromagnetic fields and in both cases they are directed at the brain, although the QRS directs them at the entire body, not only the brain. A major difference is that the QRS is only used in short bursts of 8-15 minutes, and never longer than 30 minutes at a time, whereas the device used in the study was turned on for 5 days straight. However, the QRS can be used on a daily basis over long periods of time and that might more than compensate for this difference.
I looked for studies that could give me a hint of what the QRS is doing in the brain but found none, mostly because human brains cannot be opened to observe physical changes. Then it occurred to me that the retina is made of nervous tissue and is a part of the brain that migrates to the eyes during fetal development. The retina is easily observed and many measurements can be made on it. Therefore, any study showing beneficial effects in the retina could provide at least circumstantial evidence of similar benefits in the brain.
And such studies do exist. A German study performed using the QRS, though small, provides an interesting piece of evidence. In this study, blood flow to the retina was measured before and after 8-minute QRS sessions. In every case, the second measurement showed more blood flowing to the retinas. With more blood flow comes more oxygen and other nutrients being delivered, better removal of toxins, and thus the potential for healing. Since patients were lying face-up on the QRS mat for this study, the fields had to cross the entire brain before reaching the retinas and it is more than likely that any increase in blood flow to the eyes was matched by an equal or greater increase in the brain. You can find this study at: http://www.quantronmedicine.com/research/qrs_research/retina.pdf.
Other studies come from the former Soviet Union and are reviewed in the book “Magnetic Therapy in Eastern Europe: A Review of 30 Years of Research.” Though they used different PEMF devices, there are a number of different studies, all showing that continued use of the devices led to improved vision in both children and elderly individuals suffering from different retinal disorders and even degeneration of the optic nerve.
While the evidence is not fully conclusive, there is at least some suggestion that the QRS might have the same benefits for people as those found in the study on mice, not only improving moods but actually also promoting structural change and healing in the brain. Stay tuned to this newsletter for further updates as I learn more on this topic.