Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Do antibiotics in pregnancy cause cerebral palsy and epilepsy?

Thursday Mar 26 2015

Antibiotic use in pregnancy linked to cerebral palsy and epilepsy

"Antibiotic used in pregnancy linked to risk of epilepsy and cerebral palsy," The Guardian reports. The results of a new study suggest women who take macrolide antibiotics were slightly more likely to give birth to a child with one (or both)…

Frequent antibiotic use linked to higher type 2 diabetes risk

Wednesday Mar 25 2015

Frequent antibiotic users have higher type 2 diabetes risk

"Repeated antibiotic use linked to diabetes," BBC News reports. A major new study found that people who took five or more courses a year had a higher than normal risk of developing type 2 diabetes…

New blood test could help prevent antibiotic misuse

Thursday Mar 19 2015

New blood test could help prevent antibiotic misuse

“A new blood test can help doctors tease out whether an infection is caused by a bacteria or a virus within two hours,” BBC News reports. The test could help to appropriately target the use of both antibiotics and antivirals...

Could epilepsy drug be used to treat Alzheimer's disease?

Tuesday Mar 17 2015

Scientists are looking at new ways to treat dementia using existing drugs

A drug commonly used to treat epilepsy could help "slow down" the progress of Alzheimer's disease, reports The Daily Express. According to the news story, the drug levetiracetam was shown to...

All teens should be vaccinated against rare strain of meningitis

Monday Mar 16 2015

All teens should be vaccinated against new strain of meningitis

"A vaccination for meningitis is to be offered to all 14-18 year-olds in England and Wales, after a spike in a rare strain of the disease," The Guardian reports. The strain – meningitis W (MenW) – is described as rare, but life-threatening…

Genetic high cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

High cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

"High cholesterol LOWERS the risk of diabetes," is the Daily Mail's rather misleading headline, going on to say that, "New study reveals why taking statins may be harmful"…

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

'Women on HRT pills should be aware that there is a small chance of an increased risk of blood clots and possibly stroke' BBC News report. A major review, involving over 40,000 patient records, found an increase in risk of clotting….

Gene testing could find those who would benefit most from statins

Wednesday Mar 4 2015

Gene testing could find those who would benefit most from statins

"Patients with the highest genetic risk of suffering a heart attack benefit the most from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, a study has found," The Guardian reports. Those with the highest genetic risk score appear to get the most benefit from the drugs…

Is long-term paracetamol use not as safe as we thought?

Tuesday Mar 3 2015

Is long-term paracetamol use not as safe as we thought?

"Daily paracetamol could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death," the Mail Online reports. A new review of previous data found that long-term use was linked with a small increased risk of adverse events, such as heart attack…

Does deadly diet drug DNP defeat diabetes?

Friday Feb 27 2015

Banned weight-loss drug DNP could treat diabetes

"A chemical [DNP] which caused munitions factory workers to lose weight inexplicably in the First World War could cure diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. The banned weight loss drug looked effective and safe when given in a modified form to rats…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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