Cellphone Radiation Causes ADHD in Lab Mice [STUDY]

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March 17, 2012
by Kate Freeman

Pregnant women beware: you might want to add cellphones to the list of things to stay away from during pregnancy.

Researchers at Yale studied the effects of cellphone radiation on the offspring of pregnant mice and determined exposure to could result in developmental disabilities including ADHD, their study says in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports.

A silenced cellphone in active call mode was placed on top of a cage of pregnant mice. An inactive cellphone was placed on top of another cage of pregnant mice to act as a control. The mice in both cages had babies, which were allowed to mature. Then researchers conducted a variety of tests to measure brain activity on the adult mice who had been exposed to radiation as fetuses. The tests showed that the mice had lower memory capacity and were more hyperactive than the control group. The areas of the brain that control these functions were impacted by the radiation, say the researchers. They concluded that cellphone radiation negatively impacted brain development of offspring, and could potentially cause developmental disabilities including ADHD.

The study is the first of its kind to link cellphone radiation to developmental disorders in offspring, according to author Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale Medical School.

“We have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb,” Taylor told Science Daily . “The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.”
Mice gestate for a much shorter time than humans (only 19 days) and are born with much less developed brains than humans, said the first co-author in the study, Tamir Aldad. More research is needed to show the possible risks of cellphone radiation to human fetuses.

Cellphones have been linked to causing everything from the mass death of bee colonies to a willingness to sacrifice one’s sex life and relationships. Dozens of studies and researchers have debated the issue of whether or not radiation from cellphones causes cancer. It’s an issue still up for debate.

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Radiation from mobile phones may affect the brain development of unborn babies, the lead author of a controversial animal study has claimed.

Pregnant mice placed in the vicinity of an active mobile phone gave birth to offspring which showed signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and poor memory. Infant mice whose mothers were not exposed to the radiation were not affected the same way.

The changes were attributed to impaired development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

According to the US scientist who led the research, the same effects could potentially occur in humans.

Professor Hugh Taylor, from Yale University, believes mobile phones might even be partly responsible for rising rates of behavioural disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

However, other experts warned strongly against extrapolating the findings and assuming they were relevant to humans. One called the claims “”alarmist and unjustified””. The research is reported in the Nature publication Scientific Reports.

Prof Taylor said: “”This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behaviour.
“”We have shown that behavioural problems in mice that resemble ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb. The rise in behavioural disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.””

He added that more work was needed in humans to investigate the mechanisms involved and establish safe levels of mobile phone exposure during pregnancy.

ADHD is a development disorder characterised by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Between 3% and 7% of school-age children suffer from the disorder. Affected children tend to perform poorly at school and are at increased risk of delinquency.

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