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Mobiles really do fry your brains: JAMA

Don’t yet know by how much

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In the latest mobile health scare to hit the Interwebs, the Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting measurements of mobile use on brain chemistry.

Although the research is currently of “unknown clinical significance”, it’s bound to feed a frenzy of new stories threatening death and horror on anyone using a mobile.

In the study, published as a “preliminary communication” to JAMA, a research team led by Dr Nora Volkow used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure brain glucose metabolism with and without a mobile phone held against the head

The small study (it had 47 participants) found that while glucose metabolism across the brain as a whole was not affected by the presence of a mobile, things were different close to the antenna, where metabolism rose.

“The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes for both absolute metabolism … and normalized metabolism”, the article’s abstract states.

Whether this has any particular significance – whether, for example, increased glucose metabolism would lead to an increased cancer risk – is only speculative at this stage. ®

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