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Cellphone Radiation May Protect Brain From Alzheimers 254

Posted by kdawson
from the i-forget-why dept.
We've discussed cellphones and cancer many times. Here's a new angle: reader olddotter sends in a Reuters article suggesting that cellphone radiation may protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease. "At the end of that time, they found cellphone exposure erased a build-up of beta amyloid, a protein that serves as a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's mice showed improvement and had reversal of their brain pathology..."
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Cellphone Radiation May Protect Brain From Alzheimers

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  • Choice to Make (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @02:45PM (#30685756)
    So I can not use a cell phone and may get alzheimers or I can use a cell phone and not get alzheimers but could get brain cancer ...... time to flip a coin.
  • Hello, Mickey? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 07, 2010 @02:48PM (#30685814) Homepage Journal

    The results were a major surprise and open the possibility of developing a noninvasive, drug-free treatment for Alzheimer's, said lead author Gary Arendash of the University of South Florida.

    He said he had expected cell phone exposure to increase the effects of dementia.

    This is how science is SUPPOSED to work! But don't get your hopes up...

    Many treatments that have shown promise in mice have had little effect on humans.

    I wonder if this affects the non-Alzheimer's "senior moments" as my mother calls them? I wish they'd had cell phones when I was young! Now where'd I put that damned phone???

  • Easily explained (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjonke (457707) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @02:58PM (#30685956) Journal

    Most people who die at 50 didn't have alzheimers.

  • Re:scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sunking2 (521698) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:02PM (#30686014)
    Bingo. So much for the argument that the energy is non-ionizing thus cell phones are safe. Assuming this study is factual.
  • by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@anaLISPsaz ... m minus language> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:05PM (#30686036)

    That's an interesting point. As we conquer the lower hanging medical fruit, and prevent the things that used to kill people younger (disease, malnutrition, gum disease, accidents etc), a higher proportion of the people that DO die will be dying because of old age, or of diseases which only tend to affect older people.

  • Re:scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr2chase (653338) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:16PM (#30686168) Homepage
    Yes, but. Cellphone radiation (.85-1.9Ghz) does not penetrate that far into your body, just as microwave radiation (2.45Ghz) does not penetrate that far into a potato.

    Studies show that mouse heads are much smaller than human heads, therefore they are getting a much larger dose to their brain, for a given external exposure.
  • by carlhaagen (1021273) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:25PM (#30686244)
    In many related discussions here on /., oh so many readers have, in various ways, blatantly slandered the idea that EM radiation in the microwave spectrum also has a directly, altering effect on tissue and matter in general - to whatever the extent may be. So, what's your stance now? I have the idea that this lot refused to believe this when it was in the context of f.e. "cellphones being bad for you", but just might be open the idea now that some "good" effect is proven from the EMR. If that's the case, why are these people changing their minds all of the sudden? Why accept this, but not the original arguments regarding microwave radiation?
  • Re:Mice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GargamelSpaceman (992546) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:32PM (#30686322) Homepage Journal
    Although in this case, they actually proved causation.
  • Re:Mice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:41PM (#30686416)
    ...Except this experiment used mice and does more or less prove causation.....
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:47PM (#30686504)

    Why accept this, but not the original arguments regarding microwave radiation?

    Because this is based on a scientific, reproducible study that shows an actual effect, whereas, the claims that there were negative effects were contradicted by all of the scientific, reproducible experiments that were run to test them.

  • Re:Hello, Mickey? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:51PM (#30686560)

    The politicians are sheep too, they did not make everyone else sheep.

  • Re:Choice to Make (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07, 2010 @04:00PM (#30686688)
    Am I the only one who isn't too concerned about sperm count?... I celebrate the arrival of my girlfriends monthly cycle, because protection isn't a guarantee... I've considered surgical protection, which would at least be reversible. While I can't really see myself wanting kids in the future, it's possibly I could change my mind and be disappointed.

    Also, as with tobacco, if it doesn't cause cancer in more than 50% of users, I'm less inclined to believe any study showing a correlation.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 07, 2010 @04:15PM (#30686876) Homepage Journal

    For all intents and purposes you have today's most annoying sig. Although I agree that "whom" shoud be deprecated.

  • Re:Choice to Make (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuoteMstr (55051) <> on Thursday January 07, 2010 @04:21PM (#30686944)

    This opposition to cell phones is part of a much larger Luddite movement today. From cell phones, to nuclear power, to vaccination, to practically any other field of science, we're seeing large numbers of people, honestly or not, yearn to return to a supposedly simpler, less mechanized time. The desire has been around as long as technology has, but the recent greatly-accelerated pace of progress has exacerbated the problem.

    Unfortunately, we'll be stuck with these people until they die. It's "common sense" for them to opposite scary new devices with atoms and wavelengths and things, and "common sense" is something acquired early in childhood and immutable thereafter. The new generation of people growing up with these things will be much less susceptible to anti-technological fear mongering.

  • by yoma666 (1083023) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @04:53PM (#30687366)
    Have you read up on the actual research that has been done? Check this for starters. [] Bottom line is that cells/tissues are indeed influenced by EM radiation at cellphone or wifi frequencies. And seemingly the biggest problem compared to other EM-radiation is that your body simply cannot recognise the "new kinds" of radiation it's exposed to. This can turn out bad, but might also turn out good. The only thing that will prove wether we're fucking up or not is simply time. Besides that there are of course a gazillion other factors that are known to be bad for your cells/tissues that are spread out throughout your home/environment.
  • Re:Choice to Make (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:38PM (#30687894)

    There's no reason why one study should be inherently more valid than the other, especially since many of these other studies have been conducted directly on humans.

    Except this study is directly studying the problem by blasting rats with cell phone radiation and studying the effects. The study you cited was nothing more than a survey conducted on Israelis with tumors in their salivary gland. There is a HUGE difference.

    The best you'll ever be able to claim with a survey is correlation, you cannot prove causation that way. However, you CAN prove causation with controlled experiments on rats, a-la TFA.

    Again, one study is a group actually experimenting on rats, the other is a group surveying cancer patients. Which is more valuable and more scientific should be abundantly clear.

  • Re:Choice to Make (Score:2, Insightful)

    by swinefc (91418) * on Thursday January 07, 2010 @05:49PM (#30688016)

    Until now, I believed as you do... "Cell phones are not actually known to cause any health problems". Low level RF is already in our natural habitat.

    Unfortunately, this article is worrisome, because the study showed a positive effect. The problem is that it had any affect at all. If cell phone radiation can affect Alzheimer's, then cell phone radiation has an affect, positive or negative is just a modifier.

  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @06:08PM (#30688304)

    And seemingly the biggest problem compared to other EM-radiation is that your body simply cannot recognise the "new kinds" of radiation it's exposed to.

    You mean the "new kinds" which have existed since the dawn of time? You realize we are pummeled with various wavelengths of EM radiation from all over the universe, not the least of which come from our own Sun, right? The Earth's magnetic field keeps out the nastiest high-frequency stuff for the most part, but the lower level stuff gets through. That's how radio telescopes work - they grab the sub-visible EM radiation from all over the galaxy that hits the planet and inundates us with EM radiation.

    Hey guess which end of the scale cell phone radiation is in? It's not the high frequencies, it's in the low frequencies.

    And of course EM radiation can affect our cells, but the lower the frequency the less energy it has, and the less damage it does. For example, even a few hours of exposure to UV radiation will start destroying our cells - a sunburn is the body's desperate attempt to save those cells and prevent further damage. However, drop just a little ways into the visible spectrum and suddenly EM radiation does virtually nothing to our bodies but stimulate vitamine D production in the skin.

    Drop it even further and the EM radiation has even less of an effect, eventually getting into the range of cell phone signals.

    Believing that cell phone radiation must be harming us even though there is no evidence is foolishness. The light emitted by a flashlight is thousands of times more potent than a cell phone signal, and emits a higher frequency of EM radiation which is closer to the dangerous radiations of UV, X-ray, and Gamma-Ray, and yet we aren't terrified of flashlights.

    The idea that cell phone signals could cause damage is nonsensical, so it had better have some good, strong evidence behind it before I start believing it. So far the only good evidence behind it has shown a small positive effect.

  • Re:Choice to Make (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 07, 2010 @07:12PM (#30689002)

    That is entirely wrong. Alzheimers isn't the dissolving of brain tissue but growth of plaques, or at least correlated to it. Your analogy is not an oversimplification, but just a completely wrong description of what is happening. In fact, who is to say that the abnormal conditions presented by so much growth doesn't increase the likelihood of cancer and people just die too soon for it to be statistically signifigant. Please do not ever attempt to describe this disease again as you are not only misleading, but apparently compelling enough for an insightful mod.

  • Re:Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cassander (251642) on Thursday January 07, 2010 @11:25PM (#30690572)

    P.S. At least I think that's irony. Every time I think I've got it down, someone shows me a new rule for what is or isn't irony. My apologies to the grammar Nazis in advance if I have it wrong.

    As a recovering former grammar nazi, I would just like to say:


    Thanks to popular (mis)use, ironic now has multiple definitions, irregardless of what the dictionary might say.

    Yeah grammar nazis, I just said "irregardless". Based on common usage, it is simply a synonym for "regardless". It's here to stay, you might as well get used to it. And I put periods outside of quotation marks and parentheses when it makes logical sense to do so (blame math/programming for that one if you must have a scapegoat). And cellphone is one word. And I can start a sentence with "and" if I want to. :P

    Really, as long as communication occurs, what's the big deal? Why religiously stick to arbitrary rules of grammar/spelling/usage? Webster is not the final authority on what is or isn't valid english communication. (Actual real-world usage is.) Our language is constantly evolving, why can't you evolve along with it?

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.