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New study on mobile phones and children's cognitive development
Date:5/20/2014

A new study launching today will investigate whether the use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies might affect children's cognitive development.

The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) is the largest study in the world to address this issue. It will focus on cognitive functions such as memory and attention, which continue to develop into adolescence.

Seventy percent of 11-12 year olds in the UK now own a mobile phone, rising to 90 per cent by age 14. Most research to date on mobile phones has focused on adults and risk of brain cancers. While there is no convincing evidence that radio wave exposures from mobile phones effect health, scientists remain uncertain as to whether children's developing brains are more vulnerable than adults' brains, due to their developing nervous system, enhanced absorption of energy in head tissue, and increased cumulative exposure over their lifetime. The latest World Health Organisation Organization (WHO) radiofrequency agenda highlights this uncertainty, ranking 'prospective cohort studies of children and adolescents', including neurocognitive and behavioural outcomes, as a 'highest priority research need'.

SCAMP is an independent, three-year study commissioned by the Department of Health, on behalf of multiple funders (see Notes to editors). This study comes under the 'Research Initiative on Health and Mobile Telecommunications (RIHMT)' formerly the MTHR Programme. Led by researchers from Imperial College London, working with partners from Birkbeck, University of London, and others, it will follow the cognitive development of approximately 2500 year 7 (aged 11-12 years) pupils in participating schools from this September. Over 160 secondary schools in the outer London area will today receive invitations to take part. 11-12 years is the age at which the majority of children start to own a mobile phone.

Current UK health policy guidelines advise that chil
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Contact: Gail Wilson
gail.wilson@imperial.ac.uk
020-759-46702
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

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