Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

UK dementia rates have fallen sharply in men

Wednesday Apr 20 2016

"Dementia rate falls as men behave themselves," The Times reports. A UK study of dementia trends over the last 20 years suggests that the number of men developing the condition has dropped significantly, possibly as a result of lifestyle changes…

Natural protein 'restores memory in mice with Alzheimer's'

Tuesday Apr 19 2016

"Alzheimer's symptoms could be reversed by restoring protein in brain," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers say mice with Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms showed improvement in memory tasks after being given the protein interleukin 33…

Child head injuries could harm relationship with parents

Monday Apr 18 2016

"A simple bang on the head can alter a child's relationship with their parents claim academics," the Daily Mail reports. A Canadian study found children who had experienced even just a mild traumatic head injury…

Can concussion be tested for with a 'simple' blood test?

Tuesday Mar 29 2016

"A new blood test can detect a concussion up to a week after a head injury," the Daily Mail reports. The test involved checking for biomarkers, which are substances created by a specific biological condition or state…

People with autism are 'dying younger,' warns study

Monday Mar 21 2016

"People with autism are dying earlier than the general population," BBC News reports. A recent study in Sweden showed the average age of death for a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 54 years, compared with 70 for matched controls…

Memories 'taken' by Alzheimer's could possibly be retrieved

Thursday Mar 17 2016

"Memories wiped by Alzheimer's could be revived, research suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research involving mice suggests memories are not destroyed by Alzheimer's disease – rather, there are difficulties recalling them…

Gum disease linked to worsening dementia symptoms

Friday Mar 11 2016

"How brushing your teeth properly can ward of the symptoms of dementia," is the misleading headline in the Daily Mail. In the study reported on, all the participants had dementia. The researchers wanted to see if gum disease made symptoms worse…

Brain scans used to see if Facebook is addictive

Thursday Feb 18 2016

"Facebook has a similar effect on your brain as cocaine," the Daily Mail reports. Brain scans found that students exposed to images associated with Facebook had patterns of neural activity also seen in people with substance or gambling addictions…

Evidence of link between Zika virus and birth defect 'boosted'

Thursday Feb 18 2016

"Brazilian study boosts theory that Zika causes birth defect," The Guardian reports. Researchers have detected the virus in amniotic fluid surrounding two unborn babies known to have abnormally small heads (microcephaly)…

Link between indigestion drugs and dementia 'inconclusive'

Tuesday Feb 16 2016

"Indigestion pills taken by millions 'could raise the risk of dementia by 50%'," the Daily Mail reports. A German study found a link between the proton pump inhibitor class of drugs and an increased risk of dementia in the elderly…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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