Alzheimer’s Disease research on cell phone radiation continues. Is there a relationship between Alzheimer’s Disease and proximity to mobile phones? Can men become sterile by keeping a mobile phone in their pockets? Will a woman’s hair fall out if she uses a blue-tooth headset connected to her cell?
The media–newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet and mobile–are going bonkers about reporting “scientific studies” concerning the effects of cell phone radiation on human health without clear evidence. I call it “medical hope reporting.”
Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Media
Most press coverage is about “associations” between using cell phone radiation and illnesses. Studies rarely show that mobile phones directly cause human illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Whether placing an RF device near your head causes health problems is open to disagreement in the scientific community, although the latest Alzheimer’s disease research indicates no direct cause and effect.
Before everyone carries a mobile phone, studies about electromagnetic radiation are usually limited to employees of telecommunications companies and military workers exposed to radar. As the public buys more mobile devices, every journalist feels compelled to write his or her quota of stories about cell phones and wireless health.
Alzheimer’s Radiation Studies
The latest study from researchers at the University of South Florida, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, concludes that electromagnetic radiation may prevent and even reverse Alzheimer’s disease–at least in mice, if not humans.
The researchers assembled 96 non-voluntary mice, put them in cages around an antenna emitting electromagnetic radiation and subjected the poor creatures to a daily dose of RF for one hour a day over nine months. Clearly this is something you wouldn’t do to your worst enemy. Alas, they’re plenty of mice around.
The team of neurologists and other medical researchers were amazed to discover that EM exposure actually improved memory and reduced the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.
The press release issued by USF caused a flurry of reportage by dozens of newspapers and online publications summarizing Alzheimer’s disease research.
- The Kansas City Star: “Hope for Those with Alzheimer’s and Those Who Fear That Future.” The reporter’s first sentence: “I need to use my cell phone more frequently and get all of my relatives and friends to do the same.” Sure, and maybe sticking your head in a microwave oven might improve your golf score too.
- CBC in Canada: “Cell Phone Radiation Helps Demented Mice: Study.” Thank goodness the editor inserted the colon after mice. Otherwise, teachers might start pointing RF antennas at their students, hoping it increases their memory and scholastic performance.
- The Inquirer: “Mobiles Might Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.” Nick Farrell, the writer, thought he’d have some fun on this one, writing “Apparently if you are a mouse and spend a lot of time on your mobile you are less likely to get the illness. [The study] also found that mice suffering from Alzheimer’s seemed to get a bit better the more calls they made.” AT&T customers may want to donate their rollover minutes to the University of South Florida.
- Business Week: “Could Your Cell Phone Shield You from Alzheimer’s?” “Cell phone addicts of the world, listen up: Electromagnetic waves emanating from these ubiquitous gadgets may prevent or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.”
- National Geographic: “Cell Phone Use May Fight Alzheimer’s, Mouse Study says.” I’m sure everyone is thrilled to know that mice are now writing up their own health studies, relieving researchers of that drudgery.
- The National Post: “Cellphones may dial up Alzheimer’s cure.” It’s clear why newspapers are going under. Their writers and editors are still using rotary phones.
- AHN (All Headline News): “Cellphone Radiation Shows Promise In Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment In Mice.” I believe the researchers were trying to find a solution for humans with the disease but apparently not.
- The Calcutta Telegraph: “Mobile Link to Memory.” A catchy article title from our friends in India.
- TMCnet: “Cell Phones Do a Body & Mind Good” with an accompanying photo of a Cell Phone User holding a gallon of milk. Cute. TMC might want to reduce the number of ads and copy on their website. That by itself might decrease numerous illnesses, including eye strain.
- Gizmodo.com: “Cellphones Can Help Ward off Alzheimer’s – if you’re a Rodent.” Ah, those folks at Gizmodo–medical pundits, they are.
While they’re conflicting reports about Alzheimer’s disease research and cell phone radiation, I’d put it at the bottom of my list of things to worry about, such as bridges falling on me, the economy collapsing and Arnold Schwarzenegger running for President.
Don’t get me wrong. Alzheimer’s disease is critically necessary to find a cure. I only wish the media would treat the studies more seriously and avoid the humor.
With all the rather gruesome things happening in the world, a cell phone study showing positive outcomes for those with Alzheimer’s is of greater interest, despite journalists jumping off cliffs like lemmings.