Mobile phones may improve memory and protect against Alzheimer's disease, scientists have discovered.
In what must rank as 2010's most unexpected scientific finding so far, researchers have found that the electromagnetic waves emitted by the devices may improve cognitive function.
After years of health warnings, scientists at the University of South Florida admit they were as surprised as anyone when their research showed mobile phones might be good for the brain. But they have enough confidence in their results to recommend that the electromagnetic waves the phones emit are “vigorously investigated” as a memory enhancer and treatment for Alzheimer's.
Mobile phones have been suspected of causing problems ranging from ear ache to brain cancer by raising the temperature of the head and exposing cells to “oxidative stress”. Safety inquiries have been held, but no conclusive evidence of damage has been found.
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: “This research has been carried out in mice that mimic some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's in people, so we don't know if any similar effects will be seen in humans.
“We don't recommend spending 24 hours a day on a mobile phone — we don't know the long-term effects, and bills could go through the roof.”