Electromagnetic radiation sensitivity and methylation block

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by richvank, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, all.

    I would like to suggest an explanation for the sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation (emr) that so many PWCs report, in terms of the partial methylation cycle block. I don’t know if this hypothesis is valid or not, but I think it is consistent with observations and known science, and I have not heard any other explanations of this phenomenon so far.

    First, some background:

    Our environment contains increasing amounts of emr from a variety of sources, including cell phones and other wireless communication devices. This emr has a wide frequency spectrum and a range of amplitudes and polarizations.

    The human body, being a conductor, acts as an antenna to emr, which means that the emr induces currents in it.

    I think it’s likely that most of the induced current is normally carried by the blood, lymph, and intracellular fluid, since they constitute physically longer effective conductors. The intracellular fluid, on the other hand is confined inside phospholipid cell membranes, which act as electrical insulators. Generally speaking, a conductor serves as a more efficient antenna if its length is comparable to the wavelength of the emr, or to a fairly large fraction (such as half) of this wavelength. The wavelength of emr with a frequency of one gigahertz (GHz) is about 1 foot, and the wavelength varies inversely with the frequency of an em wave. Cell phones operate either at about 0.8 GHz or at about 1.9 GHz, so their wavelengths are typically a few inches, which matches well with the sizes of human body parts, so the coupling should be pretty good.

    Nerve cells (neurons) are exceptional in that they can have fairly long axons, up to about three feet for some. So an individual neuron might be able to act as a good antenna in this frequency range. However, the neurons are normally mostly electrically insulated by myelin, and they are imbedded in an electrically conducting medium, i.e. the extracellular fluid, which is effectively in parallel with them in an electrical sense, and which is also outside them, so that it can produce a shielding effect by absorbing at least some of the emr that is coming from outside the body.

    O.K., here comes the methylation cycle block:

    When that occurs, it becomes more difficult for the nervous system to maintain the myelin in good condition. Like other structures in the body, it continuously degrades and needs to be repaired. One of the important components of myelin is myelin basic protein. This protein requires methylation for its synthesis. When the methylation cycle becomes partially blocked, the capacity to perform methylation reactions decreases. We can expect that this will inhibit the normal repair of myelin, so that it will become somewhat degraded. We have evidence that suggests that this occurs in CFS, in that the best proven brain-related feature of CFS is a slowing of the processing speed of the brain. It is known that the presence of myelin is what normally maintains the high speed of transmission of nerve impulses in the axons of the neurons. A myelin sheath that is in disrepair would likely be electrically “leaky.” I think that one consequence of that would be that larger currents would be induced by environmental emr in the axon of the neuron that it normally protects. I suggest that this is the basis for the sensitivity to emr that many PWCs report.

    Best regards,


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