Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cellphone radiation: Will it affect your brain?

Cellphone radiation: Will it affect your brain?

KANNUR: Many studies have been conducted on the possible cancer risk associated with the use of cellphones, but very few have explored its impact on the activity of the human brain. 

And it is this angle of scientific exploration that gives a new dimension to the researches of Dr N K Narayanan, professor at Kannur University Information Science & Technology School, which was recognized when his paper was selected for the 18th World Multi Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI 2014), organized by the International Institute of Informatics and Systemics in Orlando, USA during July 15-18. 

The paper, 'Brain dynamics under mobile phone radiation - A wavelet power approach' by Narayanan and his student Smitha C K analyses the effects of mobile phone radiation on brain using EEG signal. 

"It is a fact that frequent exposure of human body to electromagnetic fields by mobile phone users is a growing concern in present lifestyle, but most of the researches focused around the risk of cancer associated with the radiation, while the other major aspects are still a grey area which we wanted to explore," he said. 

Since the studies in physics have found that there will not be any cell mutation thus allaying the possibility of cancer, it is time to look at other health-related aspects, he said. "When we took the EEG (Electroencephalograph) of the brain activity without the presence of the cell phone and when the cell phone is on, we found a visible change in the signals, which calls for a study on the possible impact of the radiation on human intellect," he said. 

The study was conducted using Wavelet Transform, which is a mathematical tool for analysing nonlinear signals like EEG. 

Power of different frequency bands of the signal provides important information about the state of the signal, which leads to give a clear idea about the state of brain at that condition, said Narayanan. 

Though a research was conducted in the US in 2013 by a team led by Dr Nora D Volkow, a brain imaging scientist from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which also said that cell phone radiofrequency radiation alters brain activity, no serious clinical study has been taken up in India in this matter and hence the findings of Narayanan assumes significance. 

"We are trying to get fund from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for further research in collaboration with National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), Bangalore to find the health problems associated with the exposure to mobile phone radiations," he said.

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