A new study published in the medical journal Current Alzheimer Research, which focuses on Alzheimer’s research, says the disease can be caused by exposure to electromagnetic pulses, such as those emitted by cell phones.
According to the author, Dr. Martin L. Pall of Washington State University, the electromagnetic fields we are exposed to on a daily basis can exacerbate (or even trigger) the buildup of calcium in the brain. Excess calcium in neurons is one of the most commonly accepted hypotheses in medicine about the origin of Alzheimer’s.
The theory is that emissions from electromagnetic fields are able to activate a cellular structure known as VGCC (Voltage-Regulated Calcium Channels), increasing the concentration of this element.
According to Pall, this can pre-empt Alzheimer’s by as much as 25 years. “Very young people exposed to smartphones and wi-fi radiation for many hours throughout the day can develop digital dementia,” she says.
The impact on mice
The research findings are in line with previous studies, which indicate that the age at which patients discover the disease is getting increasingly earlier, which also corresponds to the growing popularization of wireless means of communication.
Previous tests, carried out with rats, also corroborate the thesis. In 2008, researchers observed that exposure to electromagnetic fields from cell towers led to the rapid degeneration and death of brain cells. Young mice lost 34% of brain capacity in a four-week test.
In another study, from 2013 to 2016, 10-month-old mice (the equivalent of 21-year-old adults) already showed signs of Alzheimer’s after being affected once a day by electromagnetic pulses.
Collection of new evidence
While Pall’s research presents 18 distinct pieces of evidence, he suggests that further studies still need to be carried out to confirm the danger posed by smartphones and other emitters of electromagnetic pulses.
Among them, research with brain markers of Alzheimer’s patients and MRI in young people with signs of digital dementia; analysis of exposure to electromagnetic fields in people between 30 and 40 years old diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s; and screening for early signs of the disease in people living near transmission antennas for more than a year.
*With information from EurekAlert!, from the American Association for the Advancement of Science