(BETHESDA, Md.) -- We all know about the studies that say cell phone use could cause brain cancer. But a new study poses a different question: Does the use of mobile phones increase brain activity?
A randomized trial of 47 healthy participants measured brain activity by assessing the glucose metabolism using positron emission tomography (PET) scans – imaging that helps doctors assess how organs and tissues are functioning. The scans were performed under two conditions: when the cell phone was on and actively transmitting electromagnetic waves, and when the phone was off and not transmitting the electromagnetic waves.
The images were then used to analyze the association between brain activity and electromagnetic waves emitted from the cell phone. Activity in the brain closest to the antenna was approximately seven percent higher compared to the rest of the brain.
The authors of the study – conducted by the National Institute of Health and published in the medical journal JAMA – concluded that the human brain is sensitive to electromagnetic waves from cell phone exposure. Their conclusion, however, does not indicate what the increase in brain activity could mean in the short or long term.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio