Cell phones shown to impair lab animals’ memory

December 6th, 2008 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 6 (IANS) Swedish researchers have found memory impairment in rats exposed to cell phone radiation for two hours every week for more than a year.The rats subjected to a memory test were released into a box with four objects. These objects were changed on two occasions and their position was also altered both the times.

The actual test trial was the third occasion. This time the rats encountered two of the objects from the first occasion and two of the objects from the second.

The rats, used as control, spent more time exploring the objects from the first occasion, which they considered more interesting since they had not seen them for some time. The experiment rats, on the other hand, evinced a lesser pronounced difference in interest.

Henrietta Nittby and her supervisor Leif Salford, of the neurosurgery division of Lund University, Sweden, believe that the findings may be related to the team’s earlier findings, that microwave radiation from cell phones can affect the so-called blood-brain barrier.

This is a barrier that protects the brain by preventing substances circulating in the blood from penetrating into the brain tissue and damaging nerve cells, according to a Lund University release.

Salford and his associates have previously found that albumin, a protein that functions as a transport molecule in the blood, leaks into brain tissue when lab animals are exposed to mobile phone radiation.

The research team also found certain nerve damage in cerebral cortex and in the hippocampus, the memory centre of the brain.

“We now see that things happen to the brains of lab animals after cell phone radiation. The next step is to try to understand why this happens,” said Nittby.

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