Neuromarketing readers know I sometimes venture into the non-marketing area of brain fitness, and I couldn’t resist passing along this bit of research on cell phone use. For years, we’ve been hearing alarming claims that cell phone use causes brain cancer, though no reputable study has established such a link. Now, a study from the University of South Florida shows that cell phone radiation may be GOOD for you.

The University of South Florida study showed that the electromagnetic waves erase brain deposits of the harmful protein beta-amyloid, which represents a hallmark of mentally crippling Alzheimer’s disease. The exposure also prevented build-up from the protein in younger Alzheimer’s mice — a possible lead on future non-invasive Alzheimer’s treatments for humans.

Almost 100 mice endured two 1-hour periods of daily exposure to an antenna that generated a cell phone signal, during a period of seven to nine months. Most of the mice were genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer’s, but some non-demented mice also allowed researchers to see how the electromagnetic waves affect normal memory. Even the non-demented mice saw benefits from the exposure through increased blood flow and energy metabolism in the brain. That improved brain activity actually boosted the memory of the mice to above-normal levels. [From Popular Science - Cell Phone Radiation Reverses Alzheimer's and Boosts Memory in Mice by Jeremy Hsu.]

So, it seems that cell phones show some potential for cognitive enhancement. Before you strap your cell phone to your head and start auto-dialing, though, I’d suggest waiting for a little more research.

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