Exposure to cell phone radiation during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring and may lead to hyperactivity, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine.Currently 3 to 7 per cent of school-aged children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the rate has risen 66 per cent in 10 years, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.
Although the cause of ADHD is uncertain, researchers have hypothesized that there is an association between cell phone use in pregnancy and hyperactivity in children.
The Yale study, using mice as subjects, is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to cell phone radiation affects adult behaviour.
The researchers exposed pregnant mice to radiation by placing a muted and silenced cell phone on an active call above the cage. A control group of mice was kept in the same conditions but the phone was off.
Measurements of brain activity and various tests revealed that the mice that were exposed to radiation tended to be more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity.
“We have shown that behavioural problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb,” said [lead author Dr. Hugh S.] Taylor. “The rise in behavioural disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.”
The study noted that rodent pregnancies only last 19 days and offspring are born with a less-developed brain than human babies so more research is needed to determine the harmful level of exposure to human pregnancy.
Children diagnosed with ADHD are at greater risk for poor performance in school and delinquent behaviour inconsistent with their developmental level.
[via Medical Xpress]