A recent study establishes a link between smartphones and other wifi networks and the risk of early development of Alzheimer’s disease. The Midi Dispatch make the point.
A study, published on March 11 in the scientific journal Current Alzheimer Research, establishes a link between the development of early cases of Alzheimer’s disease and overexposure to electromagnetic waves, in particular from mobile phones or wifi.
An excess of intracellular calcium
To do this, its author, Dr. Martin L. Pall, professor of biochemistry and basic medicine at Washington State University, compiled evidence, drawn from the scientific literature as well as research carried out on rats. “Electromagnetic fields act through electrical spikes and time-varying magnetic forces,” he explains.
For several years, many studies have shown that an excess of calcium in the cells could be one of the factors of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Dr. Martin L. Pall, exposure to magnetic waves generates an increase in calcium levels in neuronal cells, by activating voltage-gated calcium channels (pumps present in the cell walls of neurons).
“Exposure to electromagnetic fields produces changes leading to an excess of intracellular calcium. This accumulation explains the effects on the brain in Alzheimer’s disease”, says the scientist.
A possible subjectivity bias
Asked about this study, Sandrine Andrieu, president of the scientific council of “France Alzheimer” and professor of public health in Toulouse, however, calls for caution. “It is not on the basis of this publication that we can make announcements, says the scientist. First of all, the study is based on research carried out on rats. And, often, there is a discrepancy between what is found in animals and humans. In addition, the study has only one author, which is quite surprising”.
Another problem: the researcher has made here a synthesis of other articles, without explaining his selection methodology. “It is therefore possible that he just took articles that interested him and that went in the direction of his reflection. There may be a bias of subjectivity”.
Especially since few serious studies seem to have already made a link between electromagnetic fields and Alzheimer’s. “There have always been articles about the effect of the cell phone, with tumors instead. Based on Alzheimer’s disease, I don’t know about it, although I haven’t researched it. the subject,” says Sandrine Andrieu.
The risk of being affected by Alzheimer’s decreases
And are there really more cases of early Alzheimer’s than before? “Today, we have a lot more attention. People ask themselves a lot more questions than before when they perceive a disorder. Indeed, now, there is a lot more work on young Alzheimer’s, but the detection is much better. Perhaps some went unnoticed before. At the extreme ages, that is to say before 50 years and beyond 80 years, there are few subjects, therefore a great variability of results, and thus difficult to conclude on these age groups”.
What is certain is that today, major epidemiological studies show that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, in other words the number of new cases in a given age group, is lower than before. The reasons given? A better level of education and better management of cardiovascular risk factors in particular. “We do not have fewer cases at the population level. Since the population is aging, we have more and more people entering the risk phase, so we have mathematically more cases. However, the risk for a given individual , at a given age, seems less important today”.