Ragbetli MC, Aydinlioglu A, Koyan N, Ragbetli C, Bektas S, Ozdemir S. The effect of mobile phone on the number of Purkinje cells: A stereological study. Int. J. Radiat. Biol., Early Online: 1-7, 2010.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had proposed that researchers investigate the effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on developing nervous systems. Pregnant women are now using mobile devices on a regular basis, and there is a question as to what effect this has on the unborn child. There is some evidence that brain function is compromised and EMF exposure could increase risk of childhood leukemia, brain cancer and cognitive functions. Previous studies have shown that an area of the brain called the cerebellum (involved in cognitive functions such as attention and language) is sensitive to EMF. This study investigates whether unborn mice brain development is compromised due to mobile phone exposure.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect on mobile phone exposure on brain cells of unborn mice. This study investigated specifically one area in the brain called the cerebellum.
Two different treatment groups of pregnant mice were used in the study. One group was exposed to a mobile phone device (frequency at 217 MHz; specific absorption rate at 0.95 W/Kg) placed under the cage for 12 hours per day for 19-20 days. The second group was not exposed to any devices. When litters were born, they were fed for 20 days and then six mice from each group were sacrificed. The cerebella from the brains were isolated and analyzed.
The researchers found that prenatal mice that were exposed to the mobile phone had lower amounts of one type of cell and greater amounts of another type of cell in the cerebellum compared to unexposed prenatal mice.
Interpretation and Limitations
This study demonstrated that early exposure of EMF could change the type of brain cells expressed in different areas of the brain, and this could lead to a decrease in cognitive function in the developing brain. Although these results are preliminary and further research needs to be done in this area, this study suggests that pregnant females should monitor their exposure to cell phones.
This study suggests that prenatal exposure to mobile phones is associated with changes in brain development, specifically in the cerebellum.