Study finds mobile phone stirs brain cells

A new federal study finds that holding a cell phone to your ear for a sustained period of time does cause temporary changes to your brain, though it's unclear whether the impact is good, bad or neutral.

The National Institutes of Health research, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, does not shed any light on possible connections between cell phone use and increased risk of brain cancer – a hotly debated topic in scientific circles.

This latest study – "Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism" -- involved 47 healthy volunteers affixing cell phones on their ears for 50 minutes and found via PET scans that the part of the brain closest to the phone antenna showed a 7% increase in sugar (glucose) metabolism.

MORE RESEARCH: Follow our Alpha Doggs network research blog

Study shows cell phone bans for drivers have no effect on number of crashes

"This finding is of unknown clinical significance," according to the study.

"It's not a dramatic increase," study author Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the Boston Globe.  "It's more in the range of the brain activation that occurs in, say, the language center when you're speaking."

Still, she tells the Globe the findings were enough to encourage her to now use her cell phone either on speaker or via a wired earpiece.

As to whether cell phone radiation contributes to brain cancer risk, the jury is out.

San Francisco last year began requiring cellular handset retailers to post information how much energy their products put out, leading the wireless trade group CTIA to move its annual event out of town.

And numerous studies have come down on either side of the argument, with the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom earlier this month publishing results of a study  that found radio frequency exposure from mobile phone use does not appear to increase the risk of developing brain cancers by any significant amount.

Follow Bob on Twitter from a safe distance

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentsmartphoneswirelessNetworkingPhonesconsumer electronicsindustry verticalshealth careAmerican Medical AssociationCell phone study

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Brown

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?