ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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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