Rats exposed to mobile phone radiation for two hours a week experienced poorer results on a memory test than the control group that hadn’t been exposed to the radiation.
Science Daily reports the experiments were conducted over a year at the Lund University Division of Neurosurgery in Sweden.
The researchers placed the rats in a box with four separate objects mounted inside. The objects were different on two occasions, and their placement was switched each time.
On the third occasion the rats found two objects from the first occasion and two from the second.
Rats in the control group spent more time exploring the objects from the first occasion (as they were more interesting given they hadn’t been seen in some time), whereas the experiment rats showed much less difference in interest between the objects.
The research team believe the findings may be related to their earlier findings that mobile phone’s microwave radiation can affect the ‘blood-brain barrier’.
The blood-brain barrier prevents substances in the blood damaging nerve cells or penetrating brain tissue.
The team had previously found that a protein that acts as a transport molecule in the blood, albumin, leaks into brain tissue when lab animals are exposed to mobile phone radiation.
The cerebral cortex and hippocampus – the memory centre of the brain – also suffered some nerve cell damage around four to eight weeks after radiation, while albumin damage occurred directly after radiation.
The researchers also found alterations in the activity of groups of genes that are functionally related.
The researchers say the next step is to determine why the changes occur.
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