Home > Health, Parenting > Study Shows Cell Phones Mess With Your Brain

Study Shows Cell Phones Mess With Your Brain

photo courtesy of mtsofan, Flickr

My eleven-year-old daughter has been begging me to buy her a cell phone.

I have solidly stood my ground – it seems wrong on so many levels, not least of which are the risk factors. I’ve put a lot of time and energy into her health and safety, it seems counterproductive to me to let her put an electromagnetic field next to her developing brain.

Finally, some backup for my mother’s instinct: a study published this week in the Journal of American Medical Association shows conversations of less than an hour produce an increase in brain activity. Guess what we will be discussing at dinner tonight?

The study is small, but its results prove that further testing is warranted on the long term effects of cell phone use. Most importantly, it adds fuel to my fire: cell phones can be a dangerous tool for developing organs.

47 participants were tested between January and December of 2009. Cell phones were placed on each ear; on one occasion the cell phones were off, on the other they were muted but would receive calls and texts. After the 50-minute exposure period, each person was given a PET scan to measure their brain activity.

The resulting scans showed that when the phones were turned on, there were significant increases in the brain glucose – the main fuel source for the brain – closest to the phone antenna.

The researchers were led by Dr. Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She noted that whether cell phone radiation actually causes brain tumors is unresolved. “Further studies are needed to assess if the effects we observed could have potential long-term consequences.”

It is early days on these studies, I’m sure we will be bombarded by many more in days to come. And from what I witness, most kids use their phones for texting more than speaking. Nevertheless, when it comes to my child’s brain, better safe than sorry seems to be a fitting motto.

The other potentially bad news that could result from this study is an increase in the army of people who walk around talking to themselves. It always takes me a minute to determine they are actually using minute headsets…I’ll admit, it looks weird, but I’m buying one anyway.

Article first published as Study Shows Cell Phones Cause Changes in Brain on Technorati.

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  1. February 26, 2011 at 1:19 am

    All three of our girls have cellphones…the only time they actually talk on them is when they’re calling me (because I hate texting)! The rest of the time, they’re texting their friends. The phones come in handy for when they have cheerleading practice or other activities and we have to pick them up…

    Wendy

  2. February 26, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I don’t think kids talk on phones. Wendy’s right. It may be that kids have found a safer way to use the darn things. But you don’t need to let on to your daughter that you know this.

    Someday we’ll probably discover that texting has damaged the thumbs of an entire generation. So thumbs down when it comes to kids and phones.

    Hugs from Haiti,
    Kathy

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