The notion that cell phones may cause cancer is hardly new. And, while both proponents and skeptics of the theory have been battling it out for years with no firm evidence pointing in either direction, a new study shows that cell phones are, at least, definitely doing something to your brain. The question is: What?
A study published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that cell phone use causes a demonstrable spike in the brain’s glucose metabolism. Dr. Nora Volkow, the study’s lead author, told CNN: “When glucose metabolism goes up, it activates cells. The findings are an indication that exposure to cell phones activates the brain much more easily than we previously thought.” In other words, dirty talk with your long-distance like/love may not be the only reason your phone conversations are so stimulating.
But before you swear off your iPhone as a cancer-mongering ticking time bomb, note that the study didn’t conclude what effect, if any, this increased brain activity may have on long-term health. “Unfortunately, this particular study does not enlighten us in terms of whether this is detrimental or if it could even be beneficial,” Dr. Volkow told The New York Times. “It just tells us that even though these are weak signals, the human brain is activated by them,” she said.
However, if you want to be extra cautious (but couldn’t possibly give up your mobile), you can always invest in a hands-free headset and keep the phone away from your noggin’ all together.