Radiation benefits for Alzheimer's mice

12 January 2010

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Category: Research & medical benefits

rat–telephone.jpgMobile phone radiation has been found to decrease the severity of Alzheimer's disease in mice, according to new research.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that affects approximately 417,000 people in the UK. Symptoms include confusion, memory loss, mood swings and a loss of confidence, and can be partly attributed to an increased number of plaques made up of the protein beta-amyloid, in the brain.

Now researchers have found that mice exposed to EMF (electro-motive force) radiation from mobile phones show improved memory function, and mice with Alzheimer's symptoms show a decreased number of plaques in the brain, when compared with mice that had not been exposed. Research also showed that the plaques fragmented or shrunk in older Alzheimer's mice.

The team studied three groups of mice. The first two had Alzheimer's at different stages, one group of mice were 2 months old while the others were examined at 4 months when the disease had progressed further. A control group of healthy mice were also used in the same proximity and all three were exposed to EMF radiation for an hour daily over nine months. All the mice were periodically made to complete a ‘memory maze task' where they had to remember an escape route. Results showed that all the exposed mice had developed improved memory function.

Although the results are exciting, scientists highlight the limitations of this study being applicable to humans. Alzheimer's in mice is different to that of humans as the latter experience the death of nerve cells. Also the mice received full body radiation, rather than specified and concentrated in an area such as the brain, so the results would be of a different dosage compared to what humans would generally receive.

The scientists are looking to repeat and refine the study and hope they will be able to find the exact radiation dosage needed for mice to improve.