February 23, 2011
While the media whitewashes the results of a new study, investigators say use of cell phones could be ‘therapeutic’.
February 22, 2011
Now new data from the National Institutes of Health suggesting that cell phone radiation boosts brain activity is poised to stir the debate even further.
Researchers used PET scans to measure brain activity in 47 participants when they had cell phones held to their ears in both off and on but muted positions and found that exposure to an in-use cell phone for more than 50 minutes increased brain activity by about 7 percent in the regions closes to the antenna.
This suggests that while no link has been proven between adverse health effects and cell phone radiation, the human brain is sensitive in some way to the electromagnetic waves coming off of a cell phone.
Whereas past studies have looked at cerebral blood flow to measure changes in brain activity, this study measured the brain’s consumption of glucose — the fuel of the brain — in order to measure localized activity near the antenna.
“There have been several studies since the late 1990s trying to address whether the human brain is affected by the electromagnetic radiation from cell phones because it’s very, very weak,” said the lead author on the study, Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The studies were very inconsistent, but we designed this study so it would be powered to detect small activity.
“This shows that the human brain is sensitive to these weak magnetic impulses.“
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