Radiation from a mobile phone call can make brain regions near the device burn more energy, according to a new study.
Cellphones emit ultra-high-frequency radio waves during calls and data transfers, and some researchers have suspected this radiation — albeit inconclusively — of being linked to long-term health risks like brain cancer. The new brain-scan-based work, to be published Feb. 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows radiation emitted from a cellphone’s antenna during a call makes nearby brain tissue use 7 percent more energy.
“We have no idea what this means yet or how it works,” said neuroscientist Nora Volkow of the National Institutes of Health. “But this is the first reliable study showing the brain is activated by exposure to cellphone radio frequencies.”
More than 5 billion mobile devices may be in use worldwide today. From behavioral quirks to brain cancer, researchers have looked for any health risks associated with cellphone radiation for years. Volkow said, however, that most research has produced conflicting results
Cancer epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine said the work can’t and doesn’t offer any clinical predictions, but regarded it as the best to date on cellphone radiation’s effects on the brain.
Full story: Cellphone radiation increases brain activity