Turns out our cell phones may have something to do with Alzheimer's, according to a new study published in the journal Current Alzheimer Research.
According to a press release on the research, most scientists agree that Alzheimer's is caused by excess calcium buildup in the brain. And pulsed electronically generated electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted from cell phones, the study says, may be causing or worsening that calcium buildup.
Animal models appear to support that theory, according to the paper.
"EMFs act via peak electric and time varying magnetic forces at a nanosecond time scale," Washington State University's Martin Pall, who authored the study, said in the release. "Any of these may produce the ultimate nightmare — extremely early onset Alzheimer’s Disease."
The press release used even stronger language.
"Very young people who are exposed to cell phone or Wi-Fi radiation for many hours per day may develop digital dementia," it said.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's. Seventy-three percent are 75 or older, and the number of diagnoses is growing rapidly each year. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s may be as many as almost 13 million, which is nearly twice as high as today.
The condition also disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic communities, but wherever it shows up, Alzheimer's kills. One in three seniors die from the condition or other dementias, the association says.
This also isn't the first time EMFs have been linked to health problems. While the National Cancer Institute says any link between EMFs and cancer is unlikely, and that normal EMF amounts don't affect humans, Healthline says there are other more common issues that it has been correlated with, including irritability, headaches, insomnia and other concerning symptoms.
Any link between Alzheimer's and cell phones is still pretty fringe, but it is intriguing — and ominous, given how widespread mobile devices are — enough to warrant further investigation.
More on serious health conditions: Doctors Alarmed By Man With Worms Visibly Crawling Under His Skin