More MS news articles for July 2002

MS and mobile phones

22 Jun 2002

Question:

Have you any information about whether mobile phones are more dangerous to people with MS, since on experiments with brain cells in petri dishes low level radiation affected a protein important to the integrity of the blood-brain barrier? As the mother of a young adult with MS, I am concerned, but mobiles are such an important part of lifestyles for many people today it would be good to be well informed.

Answer:
Dr Rosie Jones of MSfirst,
Medical Physics Dept at Bristol University

All of us who have watch our young people apparently surgically attached to their mobile phones wonder whether there may be may health consequences. As it happens the MS Unit is based in the same department as one of the most active research groups looking at the impact of mobile phones on health. As you know there is much controversy over this issue and it remains unresolved. However as yet there is no specific proof of any damage or harm. In some tests quite the contrary is indicated! However there may be some issues to be considered. Hands off phones with ear pieces may have greater potential for long term consequences than the conventional phones although again nothing is proven. The changes in laboratory preparations do not always predict problems in life and the cells concerned in the brain have an active blood flow and are protected by bone and other tissues. The studies are interesting in themselves and only time will tell whether or not a definitive answer is forthcoming. In the meantime my personal view is that young people need each other and their phones are their social life line. Unless the use is very extensive or phones are used while driving etc I personally think that their social needs are more important. However we will keep everyone updated on any further developments in this story.