AMA says cell phones can alter brain activity; here’s what you can do

“In a culture where people cradle their cellphones next to their heads with the same constancy and affection that toddlers hold their security blankets, it was unsettling last month when a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that doing so could alter brain activity,” Kate Murphy reports for The New York Times.

“The report said it was unclear whether the changes in the brain — an increase in glucose metabolism after using the phone for less than an hour — had any negative health or behavioral effects,” Murphy reports. “But it has many people wondering what they can do to protect themselves short of (gasp) using a landline.”

What’s a landline?

Murphy continues, “‘Cellphones are fantastic and have done much to increase productivity,’ said Dr. Nora Volkow, the lead investigator of the study and director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. ‘I’d never tell people to stop using them entirely.’ Yet, in light of her findings, she advises users to keep cellphones at a distance by putting them on speaker mode or using a wired headset whenever possible. The next best option is a wireless Bluetooth headset or earpiece, which emit radiation at far lower levels. If a headset isn’t feasible, holding your phone just slightly away from your ear can make a big difference; the intensity of radiation diminishes sharply with distance.”

“Many cellphones emit the most radiation when they initially establish contact with the cell tower, making their ‘digital handshake,'” Murphy reports. “To reduce exposure it’s best to wait until after your call has been connected to put your cellphone next to your ear.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


    1. If you wanna be a future Mac “Daddy”, I’d keep the phone out of your pocket as well. Cell phone radiation has been shown to decrease sperm motility.

  1. And in other news, masturbating off will cause hair to grow on the palm of your hand and blindness to set in (of course, I stopped when I found out I needed glasses).

  2. Well, noone knows if increased glucose metabolism is a problem. Sure doesn’t seem like it would be. For some peope it might be a good thing. Ballmer could use some more glucose metabolism in his brain it seems.

  3. As someone who is type 2 diabetic, this sounds like a GOOD thing. I’m gonna go sit on a cell tower.

    If that can alter brain activity/metabolism, so could living near high tension wires, which has been questioned for some time…

    1. “high tension wires”? I think you mean high voltage. I doubt the tension on a wire can effect those living near it…unless the wire broke and took out part of your house or one of your legs or something.

  4. Did this study consider a heat source next to the head also as a control? Cell phones warm as they consume electricity.

    Did this study consider using a ‘land line’ phone setup with a heater as a control? Talking on a phone using one ear to listen alters brain function to focus on one ear and filter out the ambient sounds from the other.

    Did this study put random noise generators on the carrier wave to simulate the RF power and not use any audio feed to the subject? This would isolate the RF component to show if it was the source of the ‘change’ found in their ‘study’.

    This article does not go into their methodology to show the potential flaws but instead, like most journalism, it just sensationalizes a popular misconception and feeds people’s fears of technology.

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