ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Sun, Smoke, Extra Weight Add Years to Skin
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
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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