Study suggests there's a connection between smartphone use and memory loss in teens


Upset at Junior because he failed a test? Maybe the problem isn't your kid's studying habits, or his lack of concentration in the classroom. A new report suggests that his smartphone might be to blame. A report published by Environmental Health Perspectives in Switzerland states that it only takes one-year of smartphone use for a teenager's brain to be affected by the radiation spit out by the device during phone calls.

That is the result of a study conducted on approximately 700 adolescents age 12 to 17. Verbal and figural (image based) memory tests were given to the group roughly one year after they took baseline tests. The results showed that the kids had lower figural memory scores after being subjected to the RF-EMR radiation that is released by their phones during phone calls. Ironically, the researchers found that verbal memory score actually improved with increased exposure to data traffic. Because a right-handed user tends to hold the phone by his/her right ear when on a call, the statistics reveal that righties are more apt to suffer memory loss. That led Martin Roosli, one of the studies authors, to say that the results of the study "may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations."

For adolescents who basically use their phone to play games, browse the web or send texts, the good news is that those activities release minimal amounts of RF-EMF to the brain, and no significant change in memory was discovered in users who focused on those features of a smartphone. To mitigate the dangers involved with the release of RF-EMF from a smartphone, users can wear headphones or employ the speaker feature on the device when on a phone call.

To be clear, the study notes that the results should be "interpreted with caution until confirmed in other populations." Roosli himself states that the results of the study could have been influenced by puberty, "which affects both mobile phone use and the participant's cognitive and behavioral state."

source: SwissTPH via ScienceDaily

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