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Energy from cellphone towers ups pain in amputees: Study.

ISLAMABAD -- Living near cellphone towers that produce radio-frequency electromagnetic fields can amplify pain in amputees, suggest new research.

'Our study provides evidence, for the first time, that subjects exposed to cellphone towers at low, regular levels can actually perceive pain,' said senior study author Mario Romero-Ortega, associate professor of bioengineering at University of Texas at Dallas, US.

Until this study, there was no scientific evidence to back up the anecdotal stories of people, who reported aberrant sensations and neuropathic pain around cellphone towers, the researchers said in study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

To test this, the team randomly assigned 20 rats into two groups - one receiving a nerve injury that simulated amputation, and the other group receiving a sham treatment.

Researchers then exposed the rats to a radiofrequency electromagnetic antenna for 10 minutes, once per week for eight weeks.

The antenna delivered a power density equal to that measured at 39 meters from a local cellphone tower.

Researchers found that by the fourth week, 88 percent of rats in the nerve-injured group demonstrated a behavioural pain response, while only one rat in the other group exhibited pain at a single time point, and that was during the first week.

'Our model found that electromagnetic fields evoked pain that is perceived before neuroma formation; subjects felt pain almost immediately,' Romero-Ortega said.

The researchers believe that the protein TRPV4, which is known to be a factor in heat sensitivity, could be a mediator in the pain response for these rats.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Article Type:Report
Date:May 11, 2017
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