Magnets for Health
There is an increasing amount of evidence that magnetism can be beneficial to health, and it's coming from more and more reliable sources, too.
But they have to be used carefully, and there are dangers for people using pacemakers and implanted heart devices.
There is still a need for more quality, controlled research on the benefits of magetism in health. While many studies have shown benfits, a high proportion of the studies have been small, or poorly controlled, or have made insufficient allowance for placebo effects.
Magnets 'help regrow brain cells'
Magnets may offer a way to boost mental performance, US research suggests. Scientists in New York promoted the growth of new neurons in the brains of mice using a magnetic stimulus in the region associated with memory.
The researchers said the results may lead to treatments for Alzheimer's. However, if proven the technique is more likely to be a way of slowing progression of the disease than a cure.
Experts said the work was encouraging but would need to be replicated in humans. ... read more of this BBC news story
Fridge magnets 'can be a killer'
Fridge magnets and decorative jewellery could be a killer if you have a weak heart, experts warn.
A strong type of magnet used in many new commercial products can interfere with pacemakers and implanted heart devices with deadly consequences.
Close contact - within about 3cm - with a neodymium magnet is enough to destabilise these life-saving heart devices, Heart Rhythm journal reports.
The authors suggest manufacturers include a health warning on products.
Ordinary iron or ferrite magnets, which are a dull grey colour with a low magnetic strength, are of little concern. Very strong magnets made from neodymium-iron-boron, which are shiny and silver in colour, have only recently become available. ... read more of this BBC new story
Magnets and Fractures
Electromagnets were approved by the FDA in 1979 to treat bone fractures that have not healed well.
1. Bassett CA, Mitchell SN, Gaston SR. Pulsing electromagnetic field treatment in ununited fractures and failed arthrodeses. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1982;247(5):623-628.
2. Trock DH. Electromagnetic fields and magnets: investigational treatment for musculoskeletal disorders. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2000;26(1):51-62.