Mobile and Cordless Phone Radiation Alters Brain Proteins: May be key to cancer and dementia

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EHT collaborators Adamantia F. Fragopoulou and Lukas H. Margaritis of the University of Athens have produced a new peer-reviewed report detailing the impact of cell phone and cordless phone base radiation on key proteins in the brain. Their study published on-line in the Journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine (LINK) builds upon work presented to the EHT Istanbul Conference on Cell Phones and Health in May, 2010 and other reports that have found that cellphone radiation significantly alters proteins. The new study, “Brain proteome response following whole body exposure of mice to mobile phone or wireless DECT base radiation”, was published inElectromagnetic Biology and Medicine, (Early Online: 1–25, 2012) showing significant changes in the brains of living rodents exposed for 8 months to cell and cordless phone signals for 3 hours and 8 hours per day. One of the altered brain proteins in exposed rodents, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, is also affected in people with some types of brain cancer.

Using an innovative method to analyze variations in brain chemistry affected by cellphone and cordless phone radiation, the authors detected significant impacts on more than 100 different proteins in areas of the brain central to thinking, memory and learning.

Study author Adamantia F. Fragopoulou, a researcher with the University of Athens, commented “Our study is important because it shows for the first time that exposures to common exposures to radiation from cell and cordless phones can affect proteins of the mouse brain that are critical to learning, memory, and thinking, such as proteins in the hippocampus, cerebellum and frontal lobe. We specifically found that microwave radiation alters proteins that others have found to be linked with Alzheimer’s, brain cancer, glioblastoma, and glucose metabolism.”

Professor, Lukas H. Margaritis co-author and head of the University of Athens electromagnetic radiation research group, added “A high throughput approach that examines dozens of proteins at the same time has never previously been applied to evaluating cordless and cellular phone radiation levels that are below international standards recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. People should be very cautious when using mobile phones next to their body (especially next to their brain). In addition, cordless phones should not be located in areas where people spend much time. Children, of course, require special protection from such exposures.”

A recognized global authority in the field, Professor Margaritas, headed up the 33 university ERASMUS collaborative research project, and has chaired the Department of Cell Biology at University of Athens. He completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University, and has published over 150 monographs and articles on the effects of electromagnetic fields on biology.

Prof. Igor Belyaev, from the National Cancer Institute of Slovakia, a noted authority in the field commented, “While this is preliminary work that needs to be further evaluated with independent measures, . it is consistent with what others have reported. Additional studies should include confirmation of these two dimensional gel analyses with the Western Blot, but the Fragopoulou report provides important clues.”

Many studies of cellphone and cordless phone radiation employ a computer-generated signal which relies on a costly device that was not available to the Greek team. The exposure method in this study relied on actual cell phones and portable phones to generate the RF. Some consider this approach less desirable, as it is not as easily reproducible due to differences in phone technologies. However this method of using exposures from cellular devices to which consumers are exposed has been employed in the majority of EMF research over many decades in Russia, Turkey, Europe and Eastern Europe and is valid and has merit in and of itself.

The new University of Athens study was peer reviewed by independent researchers who considered it a valuable contribution to the growing body of science on this topic.

Wilhelm Mosgoeller MD, an expert in cellphone studies, says, “This new study from Greece provides, important insights into changes in brain proteins from everyday radiation-emitting consumer technologies. The work should be followed up, as the significance of the findings for learning, memory, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may be extremely important from a public health perspective.”

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of Environmental Health Trust adds, “The Greek team is to be commended for their innovative use of existing technology as applied to multiple proteins in the brain of living animals. This work provides important evidence for brain protein alterations after EMF exposure and is consistent with many other reports that have shown oxidative stress, gene expression changes, nerve cell decrease, etc. in the brain of exposed rodents.”

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