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JAMA Study Analyzes Link Between Brain Activity & Cell Phone Signals

Updated 02/23/11 7:54 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- For many people, cell phones serve as the ultimate accessory, but what about the danger so many have long suspected? Do the radio frequency signals emitted from cell phones affect our brain?

1010 WINS' John Montone with Dr. Volkow who says researchers have a responsibility to investigate whether there are long-lasting consequences of glucose increases in the brain 


A study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association attempted to find answers to that question. Over the course of one year, researchers followed 47 healthy people, who had cell phones placed on their left and right ears. One phone was muted for 50 minutes, while the other was completely off.

LINK: Overview of the Study from JAMA

Researchers used pet scans to monitor the amount of glucose in the brain.

"It's a very sensitive marker to indicate if there are changes in brain activity that may be driven by a given stimulus which in this case was the cell phone," Dr. Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse told CBS 2's Derricke Dennis.

The results of the study revealed that 50 minutes worth of exposure to an active cell phone showed glucose increases in the brain. The glucose is an indication the brain was being activated by cell phone radio frequencies.

1010 WINS' Al Jones hits the streets to see what New Yorkers think of the study


"Even though the radio frequencies are very weak, they are able to activate the human brain -- to have an effect," Volkow said.

Going hands-free could be more beneficial to one's health. Radio signals from cell phones drop off dramatically with even a little distance from the head.

Still researchers admitted -- they don't yet know what the brain activation in the study meant, and cannot say whether cell phones caused cancer because more research was needed.

Worried about the study's findings? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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