Mobile Phone Usage Affects Brain Metabolism

Scientists in the US have discovered that acute mobile phone usage causes increased activity in the brain, though no health implications have been derived.

The research, which was conducted by the National Institute of Health in the US, showed that 50 minutes of mobile phone usage caused higher levels of glucose in the brain.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said that the health affects of high brain sugar levels were not known, though it did indicate increased brain activity.

For the research, mobile phones were tied to the ears of the patients, with one being switched off and the other being on silent mode so that the patient didn't know the difference.

Later, the patient underwent a brain scan, which looked for changes in glucose levels. Scientists found that glucose levels in brain areas closer to the mobile antenna increased by 7 percent.

Professor Patrick Haggard, of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, told BBC News, “this is a very interesting result, since it suggests a possible direct effect of mobile phone signals on brain function.”

"The implications for health remain unclear. Much larger fluctuations in brain metabolic rate occur naturally, for example during thinking," he claimed, adding "if further studies confirm that mobile phone signals do have direct effects on brain metabolism, then it will be important to investigate whether such effects have implications for health."