quinta-feira, setembro 20, 2007

Frequent Cell Phone Use May Slow Brain Function

PlanetaCelular tecnologia e mobilidade

A study says frequent cell phone users demonstrated slowed brain function but it was still considered within normal brain functioning.

Earlier studies have mostly investigated the acute effects of cell phone use on brain function. However, this study employed an epidemiological approach to investigate the long-term effects of cell phone use on brain function. In this study data was used from 300 people of which 100 were 'frequent cell phone users', 100 'non-cell phone users' and an 'intermediate group' of 100 people.

Differences in brain activity (measured using QEEG or quantative EEG), Neuropsychological functions such as attention, memory and executive function and personality traits were assessed. The results show that frequent cell phone users score higher on extraversion. Furthermore, frequent cell phone users showed improved focused attention. This was explained by a learning effect due to making more phone calls in busy environments, whereby people learn to focus better on the phone call and filter out irrelevant environmental information. However, the brain activity from frequent cell phone users shows more slow activity (increased Delta and Theta) and a slowing of the Alpha Peak Frequency. These effects could not be explained by the differences in personality and focused attention. "In Alzheimer's dementia you also find a severely slowing of brain activity.

However, the slowing found in this study, with cell phone users, can still be considered within 'normal' limits" according to Martijn Arns, the main investigator. "The frequent cell phone user group used their cell phone - at the time of data collection - only 2.4 years on average which can currently be considered as a short time. Therefore, it is to be expected that the observed effects in this study can be more severe with prolonged cell phone use" according to Martijn Arns.

Future studies should point out whether this effect can be replicated in larger groups, with prolonged cell phone use and whether this slowed brain activity is to be considered as an adverse health effect or not.

This study was carried out by researchers from Brainclinics Diagnostics and the Radboud University department of Biological Psychology both from Nijmegen (the Netherlands), the Institute of Psychiatry (London) and the Brain Resource Company Ltd. (Sydney).

Fonte: Mobiledia


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