According to the January 7, 2010 press release “Cell phone exposure may protect against and reverse Alzheimer’s disease” from the University of South Florida News (Tampa, Florida), a study led by some of its researchers has concluded that “… long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones may even boosts normal memory.”
The USF article begins by saying, “The millions of people who spend hours every day on a cell phone, may have a new excuse for yakking. A surprising new study in mice provides the first evidence that long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves associated with cell phone use may actually protect against, and even reverse, Alzheimer’s disease.”
The study, headed by researchers from the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the University of South Florida, was published online on January 7, 2010, in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD).
Dr. Gary Arendash, who led the study, stated, “It surprised us to find that cell phone exposure, begun in early adulthood, protects the memory of mice otherwise destined to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms."
Arendash added, “It was even more astonishing that the electromagnetic waves generated by cell phones actually reversed memory impairment in old Alzheimer’s mice.” [USF News]
The study involved 96 mice, in which some of them had been genetically modified so that they would develop plague on the brain; specifically beta-amyloid (β-amyloid), which is a known problem with human Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients.
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Some of the laboratory mice were (1) older mice (already with symptoms that simulated Alzheimer’s disease in human patients), others were (2) younger mice (that didn’t have symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease but were prone to get the memory disease as they aged), and still others were (3) normal mice that had not been genetically altered to be susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease (so the researchers could test their normal memories).
In this way, they only studied the effects of cell phone exposure on the memories of mice.
All of the mice were exposed to the electromagnetic field generated by standard cell phones for two 1-hour periods each day for seven to nine months.
Each mouse was positioned in a cage at the same distance from the antenna (which emitted the electromagnetic radiation) that simulated the waves emitted by a typical cell phone when held up against a human ear.
Then, the researchers exposed all of the mice to electromagnetic waves that cell phones normally emit when they are turned on.
According to the USF press release, the older mice showed this result: “The exposure to the waves removed deposits of the harmful protein beta-amyloid, which had collected in their brains.”
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In addition, it was reported in the USF article that the younger mice predisposed to demintia showed this result: “… the researchers also found that the build-up of this protein beta-amyloid also was prevented from occurring in the first place in younger mice that were prone to Alzheimer’s disease but did not have it yet.”
Electromagnetic radiation (sometimes abbreviated EM radiation or EMR), and commonly called electromagnetic waves, is self-propagating waves that occur both in (1) a vacuum (say, gamma rays, infrared radiation, and others from outer space, or space radiation) or (2) in matter (like being scanned with x-rays, another type of electromagnetic radiation).
EMR consist of electric and magnetic field components that oscillate (move back and forth) in phase perpendicular (at 90 degree angles) to each other and perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation.
The major types of electromagnetic radiation, based on the frequency of the wave and the length of its wave (wavelength) are: radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, and gamma rays (in order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength).
The article continued to state, “If cell phone exposure was started when the genetically-programmed mice were young adults -- before signs of memory impairment were apparent -- their cognitive ability was protected. In fact, the Alzheimer’s mice performed as well on tests measuring memory and thinking skills as aged mice without dementia.” [USF]
And, “If older Alzheimer’s mice already exhibiting memory problems were exposed to the electromagnetic waves, their memory impairment disappeared. Months of cell phone exposure even boosted the memories of normal mice to above-normal levels. The memory benefits of cell phone exposure took months to show up, suggesting that a similar effect in humans would take years if cell phone-level electromagnetic exposure was provided.” [USF]
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The USF researchers concluded that exposure to electromagnetic waves from cell phones (or other similar devices) could be “… an effective, non-invasive and drug-free way to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans.” [USF]
Cao added, "Since production and aggregation of β-amyloid occurs in traumatic brain injury, particularly in soldiers during war, the therapeutic impact of our findings may extend beyond Alzheimer’s disease.” [USF]
As stated earlier, this is the first research study to show this conclusion: that exposure to electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones "may" protect humans from dementia and "may" reverse dementia and Alzheimer's disease in people already with the memory disease.
Further research is needed to verify these results.
However, if future studies conclude the same as this University of South Florida study, then electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones (or other devices) would greatly enhance our abilities to combat the terrible consequences of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.