These reports are based on a new study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, which involved 96 mice genetically engineered to develop beta amyloid plaques in their brains, which are thought to be the primary culprits in Alzheimer’s disease.
The mice were then exposed to "cell phone"-level microwave radiation for two one-hour periods daily for seven to nine months. Results showed that if the mice were exposed to the radiation prior to showing signs of Alzheimer’s, they were less likely to develop symptoms later in life.
Further, mice exposed to the radiation after they had begun to show cognitive deficits generally had their memory impairment disappear after several months of radiation exposure.
As you might suspect, however, experts weighing in on these surprising and, as the researchers stated, “counterintuitive” findings, are revealing that the results may not be the panacea for the cell phone industry that they appear to be.
A new article, “Alzheimer’s Mouse Study—Do We Smell a Rat?,” has just been issued by ElectromagneticHealth.org. In it, ElectromagneticHealth.org Founder Camilla Rees discusses the concerns of many scientists about the recent research study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, called “Electromagnetic Field Treatment Protects Against and Reverses Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease Mice.”Flaws in the Study
The study, by Arendash et al, made headlines globally, spreading the word that cell phone use both prevents and cures Alzheimer’s in mice, and that cell phone use may therefore be good for humans.
A University of South Florida press release in fact began with the statement: “The millions of people who spend hours every day on a cell phone, may have a new excuse for yakking.”
Something seemed amiss.
First, the PR on the Alzheimer’s study seemed promotional of cell phone industry interests. It also downplayed research showing negative health impacts from electromagnetic fields, ignoring some of the most important scientific literature in the field.
And the lengthy press release seemed to go out of its way to cover topics unrelated to the Alzheimer’s study—discussing cell phones and brain tumors, differentiating radiofrequency fields from magnetic fields, and reinforcing the positions of institutions like the WHO, NIH and American Cancer Society, which as most of my readers know by now are adhering to a false premise that harmful biological effects from microwave radiation cannot occur unless the power is high enough to cause heating, which simply not the case.
Why was the University of South Florida talking about all these other things in a press release about an Alzheimer’s mouse study?
Indeed, there was the scent of a rat.
I felt it important to dig into this, especially given the vast amount of news coverage the story was receiving.
As you will read in “Alzheimer’s Mouse Study—Do We Smell a Rat?,” many questions have been raised by experts about the study’s design that call into question the study’s conclusions.What Does This Mean for Alzheimer's Patients?
One fundamental issue is that the exposure the mice received, according to experts, was not at all equivalent to cell phone radiation. Yet in the study itself, the investigators' press statements and the press release issued by the University of South Florida, readers were led to believe the exposure was the equivalent of cell phone exposure, and even led to extrapolate that this non-cell phone EMF exposure in mice could be relevant to cell phone exposure in humans.
One expert in electromagnetic fields says:“I think the university PR and the Alzheimer’s Disease journal PR and the researchers comments are unforgivably wrong in almost every respect in describing the exposure as being similar to cell phone use.”Another key point is that two employees of the University of South Florida with deep experience in the wireless industry were technical advisors to the study. One was formerly an R&D employee at Ericsson. Neither of these gentlemen were listed as investigators, so no conflict of interest disclosure statements were necessary.
Finally, one of the most interesting things about this study was that it evidently demonstrated biological effects (on Alzheimer’s plaque) at a SAR level (or 0.25 W/kg), a SAR level that heretofore would never have been considered powerful enough to create heating.
But scientifically speaking, unless there was an error in the SAR calculation, what this means is that the safety guidelines for wireless exposures set by many governments around the world may be way too low, something EMF experts independent of the telecommunications industry have been saying all along.
Biological effects in the Alzheimer’s mice were found at 0.25 W/kg, a fraction of the 1.6 W/kg SAR limit for cell phones set by the FCC in the U.S. and many times lower than the level at which one would expect to find an increase in body temperature.
If validated with further research, this Alzheimer’s study could be an important turning point in the discussion about exposure guidelines for wireless technologies worldwide, providing a rationale to justify much stricter limits.
So is the USF study exciting news for Alzheimer’s patients or not? The jury is very much out.EMF Exposure is Documented to Harm Your Brain
The reversal of plaque in the mice in this study is interesting and warrants much further exploration, though the exposure was not comparable to cell phone exposure.
It is not surprising electromagnetic fields create biological change, of course, and it would be wonderful if certain types of electromagnetic fields could help people with Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that impacts over 5 million people in the United States alone. Health enhancement effects have occurred in other conditions using many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, including magnetic fields, radiofrequency, infrared, UV and, of course, from the sun.
The challenge is to harness electromagnetic fields for their healing properties, while minimizing the harm. The new Alzheimer’s mice study may be the seeds of an important new direction for Alzheimer’s research, though much more study is needed.
As Camilla Rees points out, just because there may be healing effects from electromagnetic fields does not mean the benefits, even if they are spectacular, cancel out the harmful effects.
For example, she references a new paper now in press by Sam Milham, MD (Medical Hypotheses), suggesting that patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) may develop it through exposure to electromagnetic fields applied to or induced in the body, such as from conventional medical electromagnetic stimulation, used by many athletes.
Similarly, Lloyd Morgan says:“Even if there were a frequency (ies) that could have the positive effects on amyloid plaque in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients found in this single study, this of course sets up an interesting dilemma: “Would people deliberately expose themselves to years of heavy duty EMF to stave off Alzheimer’s, but simultaneously enhance the risk of negative effects, such as cancer?"
As reviewed in “Alzheimer’s Mouse Study—Do We Smell a Rat?,” there is much existing science showing harmful effects on the brain from electromagnetic fields that needs to be taken into consideration. An important factor that further research will need to address is for how long in the mice does the impact on the amyloid plaque last with this EMF exposure, and would the Alzheimer’s mice need to be continually irradiated in order to maintain the effect?
Download “Alzheimer’s Mouse Study—Do We Smell a Rat?” here. You’ll hear many comments from EMF experts about the Alzheimer’s mouse study that will clarify the confusion created by the recent media coverage. Also, you can listen to audio interviews with Alzheimer’s expert, Scott Mendelson, MD, author of “Beyond Alzheimer’s: How to Avoid the Modern Epidemic of Dementia,” and with Lukas Margaritis, PhD, of the University of Athens, who runs one of the largest bioelectromagnetics labs in the world.
In any story that rapidly makes headlines the world over, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting into the details and verifying whether what you are being told is accurate, as Camilla Rees has done in “Alzheimer’s Mouse Study—Do We Smell a Rat?”
Unfortunately, this kind of scrutiny is necessary.