London, Nov 11 : People who live close to pylons and high-voltage cables double their risk of dying from Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia, a shocking new study has claimed.
According to boffins, a direct link between the electromagnetic fields created by power lines and all types of dementia has been found.
The study has been conducted by doctors at Bern University's Institute of Social and Preventative Medicine in Switzerland.
The Swiss team, led by Professor Matthias Egger, found the risk of developing Alzheimer's increases the longer people live next to electricity pylons.
"Anyone who lives within the immediate vicinity of high-voltage power lines for more than 10 years has a significantly higher risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's," the Daily Express quoted the expert, as saying.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Professor Henshaw claims that radiation caused by power lines and other high-power electrical sources stops the body creating the natural hormone melatonin in the pineal gland, which is lacking in Alzheimer's sufferers.
He said: "This paper is like the final piece of a jigsaw. The link between childhood leukemia and power lines is already accepted by everybody. And there is strong evidence of a link to other diseases as well."
Professor Egger warns that sleeping next to a radio-operated alarm clock or living beside an electrified railway line present a similar dementia risk, due to proximity of the radiation source and the strength of the electric charge.
He said: "Anything that is plugged in and that is on all the time and that is near to your body is a source of this type of radiation."