Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Milk and dairy 'good for the brain' claim unproven

Thursday Mar 26 2015

Milk and dairy 'good for the brain' claim unproven

"Three glasses of milk every day ‘helps prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's’," is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph. The study it reports on only found that a high-dairy diet was linked to increased levels of an…

Study finds link between air pollution and stroke risk

Wednesday Mar 25 2015

Air pollution linked to strokes

"Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of stroke," BBC News reports, prompted by a large global study in The BMJ. Researchers found an association even with brief upsurges in air pollution levels…

Are power naps a 'five-fold' memory booster?

Tuesday Mar 24 2015

Are power naps a 'five-fold' memory booster?

"A 45-minute power nap can boost your memory five-fold, study finds," The Independent reports. However, this impressive claim is let down by the small size of the study…

Do people with depression perceive time differently?

Friday Mar 13 2015

Do people with depression perceive time differently?

"How depression affects our sense of time: Hours drag on and even stand still," is the somewhat over-hyped headline from the Mail Online. As the old saying goes – Time flies when you’re having fun. So does the reverse also ring true?…

Ultrasound 'breakthrough' in treating Alzheimer’s - in mice

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Ultrasound 'breakthrough' in treating Alzheimer’s in mice

"Alzheimer's breakthrough as ultrasound successfully treats disease in mice," The Guardian reports. New research found high-energy sound waves helped remove abnormal clumps of proteins from the brains of mice, and also improved their memory…

Diet, exercise and brain training may help keep the mind 'sharp'

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Diet, exercise and brain training may help prevent dementia

"Dancing, doing Sudoku and eating fish and fruit may be the way to stave off … mental decline," The Guardian reports. A Finnish study suggests a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and brain training may help stave off mental decline...

Autism-related genes linked to cognitive ability

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

Autism shares genes also associated with high intelligence

"Autism is linked to higher intelligence," the Mail Online reports. A new study found evidence that certain genetic variations associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were linked to greater cognitive ability in non-autistic individuals…

No proof 'alcohol will make you more gorgeous'

Thursday Mar 5 2015

No proof 'alcohol will make you more gorgeous'

"How having just the one drink can make you look more gorgeous, according to science," The Independent reports. But the "science" turns out to be an experiment carried out under highly artificial conditions…

People with gout have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Thursday Mar 5 2015

People with gout have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

"Gout could help prevent Alzheimer's, research shows," The Independent reports. Researchers think that uric acid, which causes gout, may have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease…

Longer sleep linked to stroke

Thursday Feb 26 2015

 Persistent long sleep may be stroke warning sign

"People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke," The Independent reports. After pooling data from previous research, researchers estimate that people who regularly sleep more than eight hours a day have a 46% higher risk…

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer