ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study Shows
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Successful Weight Loss Shows Unique Brain Patterns
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?

Cell phone addicts of the world, listen up: Electromagnetic waves emanating from these ubiquitous gadgets may prevent or even reverse Alzheimer's disease, researchers say.

Normal mice who had long-term exposure to such electromagnetic waves avoided developing Alzheimer's, while mice who were already sick started getting better, scientists report in the Jan. 6 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The findings were actually the opposite of what the researchers were expecting.

"You can imagine our surprise when we did our first memory assessment and they were actually better," said study author Gary Arendash, a research professor with the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, part of the University of South Florida in Tampa. "[And] we continued to see the beneficial effects in test after test, in group after group."

Although preliminary, the findings also raise the tantalizing possibility that exposing people to electromagnetic waves could stave off or treat the debilitating disorder, which currently affects 5.3 million people in the United States alone.

"This needs further study to figure out how well this carries over to other animals, but it does start making you think that maybe there's something to it," said Dr. Michael Palm, an assistant professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics and internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in College Station. "But I don't think we can quite jump to having people strap cell phones to their heads."

William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer at the Alzheimer's Association, agreed.

"This article is certainly no call to self-medicate by spending more time on your cell phone, especially in risky environments such as while driving," Thies said in a statement. "No one should feel they are being protected from Alzheimer's/dementia/cognitive decline by using their cell phones based on this study."

Thies believes the finding "needs to be replicated in animals before we begin to even consider trying it in people, as animal models of Alzheimer's and people with the disease are very different. Potential therapies that have been successful in mouse models of Alzheimer's have not worked in people."

Although various international health organizations have decided there are no health problems associated with cell phone-generated electromagnetic fields (EMFs), there's a paucity of data on the long-range effects of EMFs on the brain, the study authors noted.

And researchers are still trying to tease out any risks associated with regular cell phone use. For instance, one recent study found an association -- albeit a weak one -- between talking on the cell phone and brain tumors.

In the new study, the USF team exposed mice that were genetically engineered to have Alzheimer's disease to two one-hour sessions of high-frequency electromagnetic waves per day, for seven to nine months.

Healthy, younger mice exposed to the waves avoided developing Alzheimer's altogether, while older mice with Alzheimer's saw memory and other cognitive deficits improve, the researchers found.

Normal mice also developed better memory capacity after EMF exposure, the team noted.

Autopsies revealed that the waves had diminished the beta-amyloid protein plaques in the mouse brain -- plaques that are believed by many to cause Alzheimer's disease. The researchers hypothesized that an increase in brain temperature while being exposed to magnetic waves might be responsible for the change.

"In the Alzheimer's mice, the cell phone exposure seems to have two effects that directly affect the disease process," Arendash explained. "One is that electromagnetic fields suppress the aggregation of the bad protein. If the newly formed bad protein, beta amyloid, can't form plaques, it's more likely to be removed from the brain into the blood."

The second possible method of action is that exposure increases brain cell activity which, again, could help flush bad proteins out of the brain, Arendash said.

While raising hopes, the small animal study does leave a slew of other questions unanswered, Palm said.

"The mouse model for Alzheimer's doesn't correlate exactly with what people have," he noted.

And scientists don't know how well cell phone-generated electromagnetic waves might penetrate the much thicker human skull, he added.

The researchers also didn't look at neurofibrillary tangles, another hallmark of the disease typically found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients.

"Is this the whole picture or not?" Palm asked.

According to Arendash, the researchers next want to see if they can speed up any beneficial effects on the brain by changing the frequency or strength of the electromagnetic waves. Safety is also a big concern. And, of course, the findings need to be replicated in humans, he said.

SOURCES: Gary Arendash, Ph.D., research professor, Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa; Michael Palm, M.D., assistant professor, neuroscience and experimental therapeutics and internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, Texas, and director, Parkinson's and Headache programs, Texas Brain and Spine Institute, Bryan, Texas; Jan. 6, 2010, news release, Alzheimer's Association; Jan. 6, 2010, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Published on: January 07, 2010