The Effect of Radiation Exposure on the Brain

by Jenna Mallon (’18)

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Fig. 1: Brain exposure to radiation in large amounts can result in negative side effects.

The effects of radiation exposure, whether from cell phones, power lines, or medical imaging systems such as x-rays, have been a focus of study for many researchers. There are concerns over the numerous health risks that can results from EM energy radiation exposure, since it affects the central nervous system. However, not all the side effects from radiation exposure are harmful. The development of bioelectromagnetic medication has shown that the correct amount of exposure to radiation and electronic currents can heal diseases.

Dr. Felipe Perez, from the Department of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and a team of researchers used ANSYS software high frequency structural simulators (HFSS) and COMSOL multi-physics to simulate the effect that EM energy radiation has on human neurons in order to improve bioelectromagnetic medication techniques. The “brain tissue” was exposed to a 64MHz EM wave, and the model was able to determine areas where the radiation was absorbed and reflected. From the model, the researchers were able to conclude that the largest amount of radiation was absorbed at the top of the brain. Additionally, there were reflections of less than 1%, which indicated that the region the samples were placed and the waveguide were a good match.

This study provides a good baseline for future investigations. It was ideal that there were uniform fields passing through the brain sample with minimal reflections. As is, the model is practical for small-scale animal testing, but further research will need to be completed to scale-up to human size. Hopefully, future studies will be able to further support the positive effects that radiation can have.



  1. F. Perez, et. al., Electromagnetic and Thermal Simulations of Human Neurons for SAR Applications. J. Biomedical Science and Engineering 9, 437-444 (2016). doi: 10.4236/jbise.2016.99039.
  2. Image retrieved from:

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