ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
CAREGIVING
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Functional Foods Uncovered
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
EPA Alerts Seniors to Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
What you need to know about swine flu.
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
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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