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Hold the phone! Brain activity is affected by cell phone use.

A recent study revealed that holding a cell phone to the ear for an extended time increases brain activity in the areas of the brain closest to the phone?s antenna. The study findings are significant because they show that there is an acute effect . What needs to be determined now is whether this effect is associated with future problems, such as brain cancer. Very little research has been done to determine the actual physiological effects that radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields from cell phones have on brain tissue. The study was conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory and involved 47 patients who had one cell phone placed on each ear while they lay in a PET scanner for 50 minutes. The brain glucose metabolism was scanned twice. The first scan was with the right cell phone turned on but muted and the second scan had both phones turned off. While there was no difference in the whole-brain metabolism when the phone was on or off, the glucose metabolism in the areas closest to the antenna was notably higher when the phone was turned on. The long-term effects of cell phone use are unknown at this time. More studies are needed but researchers advise cell phone users to try and headsets and to reduce their cell phone use to help minimize any potential risk. Restricting cell phone use in young children is also advised.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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