Besides helping you stay connected to others, a recent study found out that cellphones might also help prevent some of the brain-wasting effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Using genetically mice that are altered to develop Alzheimer’s disease, researchers found out that after a long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves such as those used in cellphones, these mice performed well on memory and thinking skill tests.
Lead author Gary Arendash, PhD, USF Research Professor at the Florida ADRC said that the results were a major surprise since they expected that the exposure would increase the effects of dementia.
“Quite to the contrary, those mice were protected if the cell phone exposure was stared in early adulthood. Or if the cellphone exposure was started after they were already memory- impaired, it reversed that impairment,” Arendash said in a telephone interview.
It was found out in the study that the exposure erased a build-u of beta amyloid, a main constituent of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
“It (the electromagnetic wave) prevents the aggregation of that bad protein of the brain,” Arendash said.
“The findings are intriguing to us because they open up a whole new field in neuroscience, we believe, which is the long-term effects of electromagnetic fields on memory.”
A research team, led by Frank Drews, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah, confirms that indeed (when will people ever learn??), texting while driving is dangerous.
The team placed male and female drivers, 19 to 23 years old in a “high-fidelity [driving] simulator” and had them engage in either driving or driving while texting. All of the participants were experienced texters.
Reported in the journal of Human Factors, the study concluded that the driver’s median reaction time slowed when engaged in texting. The numbers show that when compared with the driving-only condition, reaction time is delayed by 9% while talking on the phone, and 30% delayed when texting.
The study also concluded that the “minimum following distance” between themselves and the virtual car ahead of them shrank.
Lastly, the study also found out that reading a text message requires more attention thus, more distracting, than composing one.
That is the result of the study a safety research institute conducted on drivers and truckers using cameras to continuously observe drivers for more than 6 million miles.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that “texting while driving increases the risk of a crash much more than previous studies have concluded with motorists taking their eyes off the road longer than they do when talking or listening on their cell phones,”
The study concluded that when drivers of heavy trucks text, collision risk is 23 times greater than when not texting. This is more than thrice the risk of dialing a cell phone which increases the collision risk 6 times.
“Talking/listening to a cell phone allowed drivers to maintain eyes on the road and were not associated with an increased safety risk to nearly the same degree,” the institute said. “These results show conclusively that a real key to significantly improving safety is keeping your eyes on the road.”
So does this mean that its better to talk on cell phones while driving? Of course not. There is a risk involved so if you plan on arriving to your destination on one piece, stick to the rules and never use your phone while you’re driving.
And if you think that using headsets and going hands-free is safer, think again. The study also concluded that “headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held because the primary risks associated with both are answering, dialing, and other tasks that take drivers’ eyes off the road.”
Better safe than sorry guys, better safe than sorry. 😉