Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Prescription sleeping pills linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk

Wednesday Sep 10 2014

Sleeping pills may increase Alzheimer’s risk

“Prescription sleeping pills … can raise chance of developing Alzheimer's by 50%,” reports the Mail Online. This headline is based on a study comparing the past use of benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and temazepam...

Sibling bullying linked to young adult depression

Tuesday Sep 9 2014

Sibling bullying linked to adult depression

“Being bullied regularly by a sibling could put children at risk of depression when they are older,” BBC News reports. A new UK study followed children from birth to early adulthood. Analysis of more than 3,000 children found…

Regular walking breaks 'protect arteries'

Tuesday Sep 9 2014

Regular walking breaks 'protects arteries'

"Just a five-minute walk every hour helps protect against damage of sitting all day," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found that people who took five-minute “standing breaks” every hour had improved blood flow…

Ebola vaccine hope after successful animal study

Monday Sep 8 2014

Ebola vaccine hope after successful animal studies

"Hopes for an effective Ebola vaccine have been raised after trials of an experimental jab found that it gave monkeys long-term protection," The Guardian reports. An initial animal study found that a new vaccine boosted immunity…

Wearing a bra 'doesn't raise breast cancer risk'

Monday Sep 8 2014

Wearing a bra doesn't up breast cancer risk

“Scientists believe they have answered the decades long debate on whether wearing a bra can increase your risk of cancer,” reports The Daily Telegraph. There is an "urban myth" that wearing a bra disrupts the workings of the lymphatic system…

Gay people have 'poorer health' and 'GP issues'

Friday Sep 5 2014

Gay people have 'poorer health' and 'GP issues'

"Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are more likely to have longstanding mental health problems," The Independent reports, as well as "bad experiences with their GP". A UK survey found striking disparities in responses compared to heterosexuals…

1 in 5 child deaths 'preventable'

Friday Sep 5 2014

1 in 5 child deaths 'preventable'

“One in five child deaths ‘preventable’,” reports BBC News. The headline was prompted by the publication of a three-part series of papers on child death in high-income countries published in The Lancet…

How immunotherapy might treat multiple sclerosis

Thursday Sep 4 2014

Autoimmune disease like MS could be 'switched off'

"Breakthrough hope for MS treatment as scientists discover how to 'switch off' autoimmune diseases," the Mail Online reports. UK researchers have discovered that altering the activities of certain genes can change aggressive cells to protective cells…

Claims e-cigarettes are a 'gateway to cocaine'

Thursday Sep 4 2014

E-cigarettes – 'gateway drug to cocaine' claims

"E-cigarettes could lead to using cocaine and cannabis scientists say," the Daily Mirror reports. In an article sure to prove controversial, two neuroscientists argue that nicotine may "prime" the brain…

What is proton beam therapy?

Wednesday Sep 3 2014

Proton beam therapy may be useful in treating rare children's cancer

Proton beam therapy has been discussed widely in the media in recent days. This is because of the controversy surrounding the treatment of a young boy called Ashya King, who has medulloblastoma...

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

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...