Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could anti-inflammatory drugs prevent schizophrenia?

Monday Oct 19 2015

"It may be possible to prevent schizophrenia by calming the brain's immune system," BBC News reports after researchers found raised levels of immune activity in people thought to be at high risk of developing schizophrenia…

Reports of HIV 'breakthrough' and 'cure' are premature

Monday Oct 12 2015

"HIV breakthrough could lead to a cure," the Mail Online says, reporting on a study which looked at the phenomenon known as post-treatment control – where people with HIV remain in remission, even after treatment…

Cannabis 'safe to treat pain' but no proof it helps

Monday Oct 5 2015

"Smoking cannabis daily 'is safe when treating chronic pain – but only if you're an experienced user', study finds," says a Mail Online headline. It refers to a study done in Canada to see how safe medical cannabis is for treating chronic pain...

Are calcium pills any good at cutting fracture risk?

Wednesday Sep 30 2015

"Calcium supplements don't work, say experts," The Daily Telegraph reports. While this headline is not strictly true, new research has shown that for most healthy people, calcium supplements will make little difference...

Too soon for 'aspirin doubles cancer survival' claim

Monday Sep 28 2015

"Aspirin could almost double your chance of surviving cancer," the Daily Mail reports, with most of the newspapers featuring similar claims...

Could an arthritis drug also help treat Alzheimer's disease?

Tuesday Sep 22 2015

"Arthritis drug could soon reverse Alzheimer's symptoms after successful tests on mice," The Independent reports. The drug – salsalate – may help regulate levels of the abnormal tau protein associated with Alzheimer's…

Antidepressant paroxetine study 'under-reported data on harms'

Thursday Sep 17 2015

"Seroxat [paroxetine] study under-reported harmful effects on young people, say scientists," The Guardian reports. Researchers have reanalysed data about the antidepressant paroxetine…

'Antipsychotics used on people with no mental illness diagnosis'

Wednesday Sep 2 2015

"'Chemical cosh' scandal: Thousands of patients with no history of mental illness needlessly given cocktail of antipsychotic drugs," says the Mail Online. The emotive words "needlessly" and "cocktail" are the Mail's imaginative inventions…

Researchers 'a step closer' to universal flu vaccine

Tuesday Aug 25 2015

"Universal flu vaccine comes closer, scientists says," BBC News reports after two independent teams of researchers each found ways to target multiple strains of the influenza virus – but, as yet, the research has only involved animals...

Guidelines set to tackle over-prescribing of antibiotics

Tuesday Aug 18 2015

"GPs face axe for handing out too many pills," the Daily Mail reports. The headline is prompted by remarks made by Professor Mark Baker, clinical practice chief at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence…

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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