Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Paracetamol 'useless' in treating osteoarthritis pain

Friday Mar 18 2016

"Paracetamol is next to useless at alleviating arthritic pain," The Times reports. A comprehensive review of existing data suggests paracetamol should not be used in cases of osteoarthritis…

Common antibiotic for children 'ineffective in half of cases'

Wednesday Mar 16 2016

"Antibiotics used to treat common infections in children could soon be rendered useless," the Daily Mail reports. A major review of existing data found worryingly high levels of resistance to widely used antibiotics such as ampicillin…

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…

Alzheimer's disease 'wonder drug' claims are premature

Monday Feb 15 2016

"Millions could be offered wonder drug to prevent Alzheimer's before symptoms appear," is the overhyped headline in the Daily Express. The "wonder drug" bexarotene has only been tested in worms as part of this latest Alzheimer's research…

Iron tablets may damage DNA

Friday Feb 12 2016

"Iron tablets taken by millions of people could damage the body within just 10 minutes," the Mail Online reports; somewhat over-dramatically. A study looking at cell samples in a lab, and not actual humans, did find some evidence of damage to DNA…

Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

"Babies given paracetamol are nearly a third more likely to develop asthma," the Mail Online reports. The study the news is based on also found a link between maternal use of the painkiller in pregnancy, and childhood asthma…

Could statins treat common cause of vision loss?

Friday Feb 5 2016

"Statins could be miracle cure for blindness," reports the Express, following a new study into dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in adults...

Antidepressants linked to suicide and aggression in teens

Thursday Jan 28 2016

"Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated," The Daily Telegraph reports. A review of patient reports compiled by drug companies suggests risks may have been under-reported…

Men at high risk of getting HIV 'need preventative treatment'

Thursday Jan 14 2016

"Giving healthy gay men HIV drugs 'could help reverse epidemic'," BBC News reports. A modelling study looking at the effects of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), where drugs are used to prevent infection…

Arthritis drug could also help combat ovarian cancer

Monday Jan 11 2016

"A rheumatoid arthritis drug can kill off ovarian cancer cells in women with the BRCA1 mutation," the Mail Online reports. The drug, auranofin, was found to be effective against ovarian cancer cells associated with the BRCA1 mutation…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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