Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Memory gaps in graduates a 'stroke warning sign'

Friday Dec 12 2014

Memory gaps in educated 'stroke warning sign'

“People with memory problems who have a university education could be at greater risk of a stroke,” BBC News reports. The hypothesis is that the gaps in memory could be the result of reduced blood flow to the brain, which may then trigger a stroke…

Drug found to help repair spinal cord injuries

Thursday Dec 4 2014

New drug found to help repair spine injuries

"A drug that can encourage nerves in the spinal cord to grow and repair injuries has been developed by US scientists," BBC News reports. The drug, intracellular sigma peptide, helped restore varying degrees of nerve functions in previously disabled rats…

Can a pill cure binge drinking and dementia?

Monday Dec 1 2014

Binge drinking and dementia drug cure claims

"'Wonder' drug could cure binge drinking, Alzheimer's and dementia," the Mail Online reports. But before you raise a glass or two, these are premature claims based on research in rats that has not yet been proven, or even tested, in people…

Is growth in ADHD 'caused by marketing'?

Thursday Nov 20 2014

Growth in ADHD 'caused by marketing, not medicine'

"The global surge in ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] diagnosis has more to do with marketing than medicine, according to experts," the Mail Online reports. But these experts are sociologists…

'Smart drug' modafinil won't make you brainier

Thursday Nov 13 2014

Studying hard is still the best way to enhance exam performance

"Smart drug 'may help improve creative problem solving'," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. The media reports have been prompted by a new study on the effects of modafinil...

Watching 'Dad's Army' won't stop you going blind

Wednesday Nov 12 2014

Researchers used eye mapping software to identify glaucoma

"Fancy an episode of Dad's Army? How watching TV and films can save your eyesight," is the curious headline in the Daily Express...

Long-term cannabis users brains 'are different'

Tuesday Nov 11 2014

Cannabis users were given MRI scans

"Cannabis use 'shrinks and rewires' the brain," reports The Daily Telegraph, with much of the media reporting similar "brain rewiring" headlines...

Are pollution and attention problems related?

Monday Nov 10 2014

This study did not prove that pregnant women's exposure to pollution affects their children

"Could ADHD be triggered by mothers being exposed to air pollution while pregnant?," asks the Mail Online. Pregnant women have enough to worry about, without going round in a gas mask or moving to the country. Fortunately...

Stem cells could repair Parkinson's damage

Friday Nov 7 2014

Stem cells could repair Parkinson's damage

"Stem cells can be used to heal the damage in the brain caused by Parkinson's disease," BBC News reports following the results of new Swedish research in rats...

Short height 'linked to dementia death risk'

Tuesday Nov 4 2014

Short height 'linked to dementia death risk'

"Short men more likely to die from dementia," The Daily Telegraph reports, though the results of the study it reports on are not as clear cut as the headline suggests. Researchers combined the results of 18 surveys...

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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