cell phone studies have been conducted over the years in an attempt to conclude
whether the mobile devices cause any long-term effects to those who use them.
So far, no one has been successful in this quest, but the National
Institutes of Health have now conducted a new study claiming that the
radiation from these devices can actually increase brain activity.
Volkow, study leader and a researcher at the National Institute of Drug Abuse,
and a team of researchers, may have found a direct effect
that cell phones have on the human brain, suggesting that 50 minutes or
more of cell phone use can boost brain activity.
studies have tried to show that cell phones are linked to tumors or cancer in
the brain, but none of them have provided a conclusive link between cell phone radiations and
complications in the brain. For instance, the Interphone study, which
was the largest study regarding cell phones and their effects that was released
in May 2010, found no long-term risks linking cell phones to brain
On the other
hand, in 2008, Director of Cancer Research at the University of Pittsburgh Dr.
Ronald Herberman released a memo to his staff to warn them about potential cell
phone harm. The memo stated that while cell phone-related effects remained
controversial, Herberman was convinced that a sufficient amount of data was
available to issue a warning and offer "precautionary advice"
regarding the devices.
studies have shown a significant association with cancer, others show the
opposite," said Volkow. "When you have data that is inconsistent,
there is uncertainty, and uncertainty of course generates fear."
Volkow and her team found was that extended use of a mobile device does
increase brain activity.
have been several studies since the 1990's trying to address whether the human
brain is affected by the electromagnetic radiation from cell phones because
it's very, very weak," said Volkow. "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
particular study consisted of 47 test subjects who used cell phones for various
periods of time. Using PET scans, researchers measured the brain activity of
these test subjects when the phone was off, on, muted and held to the ear. What
they found was that more than 50 minutes of exposure to an in-use cell phone
causes increased brain activity by about 7 percent in areas near the
were able to find this by measuring the brain's consumption of glucose instead
of measuring cerebral blood flow like other studies have in the past.
we showed is glucose metabolism increases in the brain in people who were
exposed to a cell phone in the area closest to the antenna," said
concluded that it is unknown whether this increased brain activity is harmful
or not, but the study finally provides insight into the fact that cell phone
radiation does, in fact, affect the human brain in some way. The team plans to
continue researching this topic to see exactly what this increased brain
to Nielsen industry statistics, the number of cell phone users ages 13 and up
has increased from 7.6 million in 1991 to 223 million in 2010.
study was published in The Journal of the
American Medical Association.