Mobile phone ("cell phone") use has dramatically increased over the last decade, but doubts remain over its safety. Potential health effects of mobile phones range from headache, sleep disturbance, and increased blood pressure, to cancer of the brain-the area of the body most exposed to low levels of radio frequency radiation emitted by handsets. This month's Leading edge discusses some of the issues surrounding mobile phone use and concludes that more studies that directly investigate the effects of mobile phone use in the human population are urgently needed.
Genetics of sleep disorders
In January 2000, Emmanuel Mignot (Stanford University, Palo Alto, Ca, USA) and colleagues reported in The Lancet that patients with narcolepsy, a sleep disorder, lacked the hyopcretin-1 peptide in their cerebrospinal fluid. Later that year, they showed that both the hypocretin-1 and hypocretin-2 peptides are missing in the brains of patients with narcolepsy. In this month's TLN, Shahrad Taheri and Emmanuel Mignot discuss the current knowledge on the role of genetic risk factors in sleep disorders, in particular circadian disorders, narcolepsy, restless-legs syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. "A study of the genes involved in various sleep disorders and how various genetic disorders may cause sleep disturbance is central to our understanding of the intriguing and complex mechanisms that regulate sleep", they write.
Mouse models for neurological disease
Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease: disrupting the disruption
The role of nitric oxide in multiple sclerosis
Pathophysiology of cluster headache: a trigeminal autonomic cephalgia