This is a study I've been waiting for since the University of Essex research was released last year: New research using MRIs from the University of Regensburg, Germany, indicates that electrosensitives are suffering both cognitive and neurobiological reactions--but not to the presence or absence of electromagnetic signals that these sufferers believe are causing their symptoms. (The link is to an Economist summary; the abstract is all I can find online so far of the actual study.)
Back on 25-July-2007, I wrote about the cross-disciplinary, tightly controlled study of electrosensitivity carried out by an Essex (UK) team with government and industry funding. The study was yet another in dozens that showed that self-identified electrosensitive sufferers performed no better at chance in determining whether a signal was present or absent. The control group did no better than chance, either.
But the revelation that, with appropriate biological monitoring, the electrosensitive group experienced severe and measurable symptoms whether or not a signal was present indicated to me that there was a correlation problem in how electrosensitives view themselves.
Currently, these sufferers are either coddled by those who pander to them (typically to sell them stuff) or by those that are interested in faux science who need an audience for their crackpottery; a worldview in which controlled repeatable peer-evaluated tests aren't part of the picture. Conversely, they're also ridiculed by people who dismiss their symptoms as fake or overblown.
The Regensburg study would say to me that electrosensitives need to be renamed: they're sensitive to something; it may even be psychosomatic; but the effects are profound, real, measurable, and (again shown in this study) not tied to whether a signal believed to cause harm is present. The abstract concludes: "These results demonstrate significant cognitive and neurobiological alterations pointing to a higher genuine individual vulnerability of electromagnetic hypersensitive patients." But not vulnerable to EMF, the study found. (60% of suffers but only 40% of the control group had a reaction when "sham" EMF was used.)
I have long argued that the massive amount of "electrosmog" (to use the panderers' term) means that those who claims electrosensitivity would be incapable of living in an urban area. Not just Wi-Fi, cellular, and cordless phones, but vastly many more kinds of focused EMF transmissions are constantly bombarding them. They'd be in constant agony if not in the remote wilderness. These studies seem to reinforce the fact that there is a disease, perhaps self-caused and perhaps not, that needs to be studied and treated separately from EMF--much like tinnitus.