Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism med./bio.

Published in: JAMA 2011; 305 (8): 808-813

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study if acute cell phone exposure affects brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity.

Background/further details

47 subjects participated. Brain glucose metabolism was measured twice, once with the right cell phone activated for 50 minutes ("on" condition) and once with both cell phones deactivated ("off" condition).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 837.8 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 50 min
  • SAR: 0.901 W/kg maximum (in the head)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 837.8 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 50 min
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup mobile phones placed on the left and right ear of the test person secured by a muffler; for exposure only the right phone was activated
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 0.901 W/kg maximum - - in the head

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Whole-brain metabolism did not differ between mobile phone "on" and "off" conditions. In contrast, metabolism in the region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher for "on" than "off" conditions. The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for absolute metabolism and normalized metabolism (region/whole brain).
Compared with sham exposure, 50 minute mobile phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. In conclusion, this study provides evidence that in humans radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure from cell phone use affects brain function, as shown by the regional increases in metabolic activity.This finding is of unknown clinical significance.

Study character:

Study funded by

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