ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
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
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
The Unmedicated Mind
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
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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