Cell Phones Increase Brain Activity


A recent study concluded by the National Institutes of Health (USA), has made some interesting revelations. It looks like our seemingly harmless cell phone actually affects our brain in more ways than one. According to the study, an increased use of the phone on one side of the head for a prolonged period accelerates activity in that portion. You still don’t believe it, do you? To prove this, a test was conducted on a group of 47 people for over a period of one year. Cell phones were placed on both ears of the participants. However, in half of them, the cell phone on the right ear was switched on for a period of fifty minutes. Then, the experiment was repeated with the remaining members of the group. It was also made sure that none of the participants knew which cell phone had been switched on.

The result of these tests has been captured using PET or Positron Emission Tomography. The Orbitofrontal Cortex and the Temporal Pole on the right side of the brain registered a 7 percent increase in glucose metabolism as a direct result of being closest to the antenna of the cell phone. This however, has not been established if this increase in glucose metabolism is actually good or potentially dangerous for humans.

Murali Doraiswamy who is the Head of Biological Psychiatry at Duke Medical Centre is of the opinion that this increase in glucose metabolism might not be dangerous. He has also pointed out that at certain times such increase portrays better performance of the brain through increased blood flow.

However, the Chairman of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre Los Angeles, Keith Black has raised certain disturbing questions regarding this new finding. He feels that this increased activity in the Orbitofrontal Cortex might actually affect our cognitive faculty to understand and decode language and may also raise the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Although the final outcome of various ongoing researches on the affect of cell phones on the human body remains to be witnessed; it is advisable to use our ‘friendly gadget’ with a little more caution!

Halle Berry

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