Cellphone use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

Posted by Kate Taylor

Yet more evidence that cellphones are near-lethal devices; yet more evidence that pregnant women should lock themselves away in an isolation tank for nine months.

Yale School of Medicine researchers say they've established that using a cellphone during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity.

"This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior," says professor Hugh S Taylor.

But before you start panicking too much, the study was carried out on mice, not people. And, for the trial, a muted and silenced phone was placed above the cage - and left active for the entire duration of the pregnancy.

When the baby mice became adults, the team measured their brain electrical activity, and conducted a battery of psychological and behavioral tests. They found that the mice that were exposed to radiation tended to be more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity.

Taylor believes the reason is that the cellphone radiation affected the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been traced primarily to the same region.

So, despite the fact that rodent pregnancies last only 19 days and offspring are born with a less-developed brain than human babies, Taylor thinks that women should steer clear of phone use in pregnancy.

"We have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb," says Taylor. "The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure."

While he does acknowledge that further research is needed in humans, he says he still thinks that limiting exposure of the fetus 'seems warranted'.