Mobile phone use changes brain activity but damage is uncertain, research finds

Health, Mobile phones, Tech Digest news


Whether or not it’s dangerous remains to be proven, but new medical research is clear on one thing: using a mobile phone changes brain activity.

According to the US government’s National Institutes of Health, using a mobile phone for less than one hour is linked with increased activity in the part of the brain closest to the phone antenna.

47 people took part in the year-long study, where brain activity was mapped through scans. The outcome showed that metabolism in the brain region closest to the antenna was about 7% higher when next to a switched-on phone.

The areas affected by the position of a mobile phone influence a range of behaviours, including emotion, smell, memory, speech, eating and aggression.

The issue of how mobile phones affect health is becoming increasingly pressing as usage increases, but so far no study has been able to prove it’s harmful. This one is no different.

“An increase in glucose metabolism doesn’t mean it’s dangerous,” Murali Doraiswamy of Duke Medical Center, told USA Today. “Though cancer cells do have higher levels of glucose metabolism, it has also been associated in normal people, and in some animal studies, with some good things, including greater cognitive performance and greater blood flow.”

Still, it might be an idea to invest in some decent hands-free gear, just to be on the safe side. The scientists believe the radiation won’t have an effect at texting distance either, so all is not lost.

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