After spending years fighting claims that cell phone use can cause brain tumors, industry reps may be getting some welcome news. A new study suggests cell phone radiation may actually have a beneficial biological effect–two hours of exposure a day staved off Alzheimer’s disease in mice.
Scientists at the University of South Florida studied mice that are genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s and its accompanying memory problems. Based on previous research, the researchers hypothesized that radiation from phones would accelerate progression of the disease because other types of radiation cause free radical damage. The team used an antenna to expose some of the mice to electromagnetic waves that approximated two hours of daily cell phone use. To the scientists’ surprise, the mice that were dosed with cell phone radiation did not suffer from memory impairments as they aged–unlike their radiation-free counterparts. The mice exposed to phone waves retained their youthful ability to navigate a once familiar maze after time spent in different mazes.