Cell phone radiation has long been suspected of having negative effects on the body, and especially the brain.
Now a new study, published in Current Alzheimer Research, has shown a worrying link between exposure to cell phone radiation and Alzheimer’s. Other forms of radiation, including wi-fi, are also implicated.
The study suggests that excessive exposure leads to increased levels of intracellular calcium in the brain, a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease. The terrifying disease affects roughly six million Americans today and some estimates suggest that number will triple by 2050.
Cell phone radiation and Alzheimer’s: worrying new research
It’s thought that exposure to cell phone radiation and wi-fi activates voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). These channels are responsible for regulating intracellular calcium levels.
When electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) activate these channels, calcium can rapidly build up in the brain, negatively affecting it and possibly bringing forward the onset of Alzheimer’s.
In recent years, researchers discovered Alzheimer’s-specific changes in the brains of rats exposed to EMF pulses. The negative changes occurred in the hippocampus, a region of the brain which Alzheimer’s is known to affect.
“EMFs act via peak electric and time varying magnetic forces at a nanosecond time scale,” explains study author and Washington State University Professor Martin L. Pall in a media release.
These peaks significantly grow with each increase in the pulse modulation coming from smartphones, smart meters, and even the radar in self-driving vehicles.
“Any of these may produce the ultimate nightmare – extremely early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Pall notes that both human genetic and pharmacological studies have shown an association between increasing VGCC activity and a growing number of Alzheimer’s cases.
Twelve recent reports on occupational exposure to EMFs showed that workers near this radiation generally had higher Alzheimer’s rates than their peers. Although Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain can start 25 years before actual symptoms appear, these studies also showed that EMF exposure can shorten the onset period as well.
What’s more, the average age that doctors are diagnosing Alzheimer’s at has also been decreasing over the last two decades. Pall notes that this has coincided with the massive growth in wireless communication technology around the world. Recent studies have even found people as young as 30 or 40 suffering from the disease.
Some researchers fear that very young people who face constant exposure to cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation for several hours each day could end up with “digital dementia.”
A report in 2008 found that two hours of daily exposure to low-intensity mobile phone base station radiation led to “massive neurodegeneration” in the brains of young rats. A third of the rats went on to die within one month.
Cell phone radiation and Alzheimer’s: what’s next?
Profesor Pall is now calling for more research, with a focus on three specific topics.
First, scientists need more data on MRI scans which show abnormalities in young people displaying signs of “digital dementia”.
Second, EMF exposure assessments are necessary for anyone between 30 and 40 receiving an early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. These assessments must compare their exposure to cell phone, cell tower, Wi-Fi, smart meter, and dirty electricity radiation levels, against normal levels.
Finally, Pall believes there should be more examinations of people living near small cell antennae for more than one year.
“Findings from each of these studies should be shared with the general public,” says Pall, “so that everyone can take the steps necessary to reduce the incidence of early onset Alzheimer’s disease.”
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