Study finds cell phone use has effect on brain health

Brain atrophy is a condition in which brain cells are lost or the connection between cells is damaged, posing a possible risk for cell phone users.
According to an article from, Dr. Nora Volkow, lead NIH researcher and conductor of the study, confirmed that although cell phones emit weak signals, the human brain is still activated by them.
“Teens and children are more vulnerable to external devices that could cause damage to their brain because the brain has not yet been fully developed,” Olan said.
The NIH study involved 47 human subjects who participated in two brain scans. One was with a turned-off cell phone attached to the participant’s ear while theother scan was with a cell phone in a muted phone call attached to the participant’s ear. Brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity, was seven percent higher in the section of the brain closest to the cell phone antenna when the phone was turned on than when it was turned off.
The results indicate that exposure to cell phones activate brain activity much easier than previously thought. However, the study does not reveal whether artificially altering brain cells, with use of radiation from cell phones, will have a negative health impact.
According to Olan, although the results suggest a possibility of an increase in brain activity, a sample of 47 people is too small to make any significant statement about the potential effect of cell phones.However, society has become more aware in recent years of the potentially harmful effects of cell phones.
“The way technology has been heading with the use of headsets, radiation from cell phones is likely to not be as much of a problem in the future because of the increasing use of less powerful devices,” Anatomy and Physiology teacher James Fishman said.
The NIH website confirms that the use of hand-free cell phone devices reduces the amount of radiation exposed to the brain because the antenna, the source of electromagnetic energy, is not placed against the head.
“Until proven otherwise, use of hands-free sets when talking on the phone is the best way to go,” Olan said.Study finds cell phone use has effect on brain health