Mar 1, 2006

Mobile Phone Affects Cerebral Blood Flow in Humans

Sargo Aalto, Christian Haarala, Anna Brück, Hannu Sipilä, Heikki Hämäläinen, and Juha O Rinne, in Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, Volume 26, Number 7, pp. 885–890, July 2006

The effects of a commercial mobile phone on regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in healthy humans using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was studied using a double-blind, counterbalanced study design with 12 male subjects performing a computer-controlled verbal working memory task (letter 1-back). Explorative and objective voxel-based statistical analysis revealed that a mobile phone in operation induces a local decrease in rCBF beneath the antenna in the inferior temporal cortex and an increase more distantly in the prefrontal cortex.

Comment: In contrast to our study [R. Huber et al, 2005, and R. Huber et al, 2002], the PET scans were conducted during the exposure instead of 10 minutes after a 30 minute exposure. Since a positive correlation between rCBF and exposure was observed, the usage of a modified commercial phone providing a poorly defined random exposure does not pose a severe disadvantage — as there would have been for a negative finding.