Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Headbanging could damage your (Motör)head

Friday Jul 4 2014

How headbanging could be bad for your head

“German doctors are highlighting the dangers of headbanging after a 50-year-old man developed bleeding in the brain following a Motörhead concert,” BBC News reports. The news is based on a case report in The Lancet…

Parents of autistic kids 'have autistic traits too'

Wednesday Jul 2 2014

Parents of autistic kids 'also have autistic traits'

"Parents of children with autism are more likely to have autistic traits," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from research comparing the families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with those that are unaffected…

'Hangover guilt' part of brain 'identified'

Monday Jun 30 2014

'Hangover guilt' part of the brain identified

"Scientists pinpoint the part of the brain that tells us 'never again'," the Mail Online reports. New research in rats suggests part of the brain called the lateral habenula (LHb) helps us learn lessons from bad experiences…

Possible pesticide link to autistic disorders

Monday Jun 23 2014

Pesticides linked to autistic disorders

"Pregnant women who live near fields sprayed with pesticides can run more than three times the risk of having a child with autism," the Mail Online reports. New research raises concerns that exposure to pesticides may impact on a pregnancy…

Sun tanning 'addictive' suggests study

Friday Jun 20 2014

Sun tanning 'addictive' suggests study

"Sunbathing 'may be addictive' warning," BBC News reports. Studies in mice suggest that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may trigger the release of endorphins leading to an opiate-like "high" and mice may even then experience UV withdrawal symptoms …

Do doctors confuse ME with a heart problem?

Tuesday Jun 17 2014

ME can be a hard condition to live with and difficult to treat

"ME: one third of patients 'wrongly diagnosed'," says The Daily Telegraph, which has reported on a new study of a condition called postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS)...

Cannabis can damage lives, researchers argue

Monday Jun 9 2014

Cannabis can damage lives, researchers argue

“Smoking marijuana as a teenager lowers IQ for life, scientists warn,” the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by a critical review looking at the evidence about the potential harms associated with cannabis use…

Sleep 'promotes memory-related brain changes'

Friday Jun 6 2014

Sleep 'promotes memory-related brain changes'

"The mechanism by which a good night's sleep improves learning and memory has been discovered by scientists," is the somewhat overeager reporting on the BBC News website. While the study had intriguing results, it only involved mice…

'Male hormones' in womb linked to autism

Wednesday Jun 4 2014

'Male hormones' in womb linked to autism

"Boys who develop autism may be exposed to higher levels of hormones…in the womb," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a link between elevated hormones in amniotic fluid and autism…

Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

Tuesday Jun 3 2014

Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

"Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain," BBC News reports after a Scottish study found that participants who spoke two or more languages tended to perform better in intelligence tests…

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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