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Protection of Patients from Geomagnetic Storms

#G-857


Protection of Patients from Geomagnetic Storms by Compensatory Shielding from Conditions of Magnetolability

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
26.02.2002

Leading Institute
Georgian Technical University, Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • Evgeni Kharadze Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory, Georgia, Tbilisi\nHelio-magnetocardiology Scientific Center, Georgia, Tbilisi\nNational Health Management Center, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • Drexel University / School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, USA, PA, Philadelphia\nTokyo Women's Medical University / School of Medicine, Daini Hospital, Japan, Tokyo\nUniversity of Minnesota / Chronobiology Center

Project summary

This Project is to investigate the efficiency of techniques for shielding against natural geomagnetic disturbances by compensating for them. This endeavor should test the possibility of protecting patients suffering from disorders of the presumably rhythmically magnetolabile cardiovascular system.

Associations between geomagnetic disturbances and various disorders are controversial. Some descriptive statistical investigations discovered associations of hypertensive crises, infarctions, strokes, mental disorders, rheumatic diseases, epidemics etc. with the solar activity and geomagnetic storms. But some others had negative results.

Biological organism is a non-equilibrium, non-linear system which had acquired during the evolution of species its own proper rhythms of physiological activity. During the last decades investigations showed that endogenous rhythms of biological objects are synchronized with the rotation of the Sun (ca. 27 day) and its sub-harmonics (ca. -14, -7 and -3.5 days). Helio-geophysical impact manifests when a biological object is in an unstable (e.g. pre-infarction) state. It is a synchronizing, or desynchronizing factor, while the reaction of the organism is an adaptive reaction. Geomagnetic storms disturb the natural synchronization and the "stress" (or rather "load") reaction of organisms sharply increases the functional activity of the cardiovascular system, increases the risk of infarcts and other cardiovascular disorders. (The participants of the proposed Project revealed this fact during the study of statistics of myocardial infarctions in Tbilisi). In spite of the existence of evidences of responses of physiological variables to magnetic disturbances the mechanism of their influence on human being is still unknown. It's quite possible that other agents, synchronized with geomagnetic activity, influence living organisms.

Previous attempts to protect patients from geomagnetic storms by the use of iron shielding seem not to be quite successful. There's lack of satisfactory, statistically confirmed evidences. Such passive shielding must lead to nearly full disappearance of the magnetic field and create a negative effect, suppressing the organism's endogenous cycles which are in direct connection with the time structure of space and earth's magnetic weather. An alternative possibility is to use active shielding, or rather compensatory method. This approach involves the creation in a hospital room of controlled magnetic field, time-varying within the limits of an ordinary "calm" day. The control system maintains calm state by the creation of artificial geomagnetic conditions. During geomagnetic storms the system automatically compensates for strong external variations and maintains conditions of limited variations. The investigation of health characteristics of a group of cardiovascular patients while protecting them from geomagnetic disturbances by compensatory magnetic shielding is the central point of the proposed study.

The principles of active compensatory magnetic shielding had been developed at the Georgian Technical University. Three sets of Helmholtz coils create three-dimensional magnetic field in the entire room. The installation operates as automatic control system with inert zones corresponding to the range of normal ("calm") variations of the geomagnetic field.. It is also possible to simulate magnetic disturbances.

This Project should give the possibility to answer the fundamental question: is the geomagnetic field the main, or at least a sufficient consequence of solar activity responsible to exacerbation of disorders of cardiovascular system? If the answer is in the affirmative, the Project will contribute to the use of the techniques of active compensatory magnetic shielding of cardiovascular patients in clinical practice, notably in intensive care units.

The proposed Project intends the collaboration with the international Project BIOCOS coordinated by Halberg Chronobiology Center of the University of Minnesota.

As a result of the execution of the Project tasks, a prototype of a technical means will be created and the possibility of the protection of patients from geomagnetic disturbances by the use of active compensatory magnetic shielding should be confirmed. Optimal regimes of active compensatory magnetic shielding determined during the realization of the Project will be recommended for the implementation in clinics. An assignment for the development of technical documentation for the manufacturing of compensatory magnetic shielding installations will be issued.

In accordance with the goals and objectives of ISTC, the main part of Project participants, former weapon specialists, will be enabled to apply their experience and knowledge in the field of biomedical engineering: equipping cardiology and other clinics with technical means of shielding against natural geomagnetic disturbances.

The implementation of the Project in close collaboration with foreign specialists (Project collaborators) will contribute to integration of Georgian scientists and engineers into international scientific community.

The activity of the Project includes the accomplishment of five tasks:


1. Developing, manufacturing and servicing of installations for compensatory magnetic shielding of hospital rooms.
2. Selection and continuous monitoring of patients within the magnetically compensated hospital rooms, alongside with the control group of patients.
3. Continuous monitoring of geophysical situation in the environment of geomagnetic observatory and in urban environment (in the vicinity of the clinic).
4. Processing and analysis of results of monitorings in order to reveal characteristic responses of organisms towards geomagnetic disturbances.
5. Issue of recommendations on compensatory magnetic shielding regimes, and of an assignment for the development of technical documentation for the manufacturing of compensatory magnetic shielding installations.

During the monitoring of patients the response of organisms to the impact of geomagnetic disturbances will be observed by continuous registration of heart rate, blood pressure and cardiograms. Geophysical monitoring assumes continuous registration of three components of geomagnetic field, meteorological and some other geophysical parameters. During the processing of the data of monitorings classical and modern methods of linear analysis and methods of nonlinear analysis of time series will be used.


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