Cell phones speed up brain
activity, especially in regions of the brain near the phone’s antenna during a
long phone call, according to researchers from the National Institutes of
The meaning and potential health
impacts of these changes are unknown, but they show conclusively that cell
phone radiation is capable of altering brain activity.
Researchers took brain scans of 47
participants to directly measure how cell phones’ electromagnetic radiation
affected their brain activity. That’s a departure from other studies in the
cell phone radiation literature, which have largely consisted of observational
studies, and which have been somewhat inconclusive due to biases and errors.
Each participant had a cell phone
strapped to both ears and then underwent two 50-minute PET (positron emission
tomography) scans, which measure brain activity by monitoring metabolism.
In one scan, both cell phones were
turned off; in the second, the right cell phone was turned on and played a
recorded message, but with the sound muted so there would be no auditory
The PET scans showed a 7 per cent
increase in activity in the part of the brain closest to the antenna, according
to the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Importantly, the researchers said
the increased activity was unlikely to be associated with heat from the phone,
because it happened near the antenna instead of where the phone touched the
The new study is mum on the meaning
of these findings.
This study shows that there are
other physiological effects beyond tissue warming.
Researchers not involved in the said the study
even suggests different pathways for cancer and other health problems to
develop, including the formation of free radicals and tissue swelling.
The bottom line is that this study
shows non-ionizing radiation from cell phones indeed has an effect on human
brain function. Further studies will help explain just what effects mean for