Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Targeting 'addiction switch' may help combat alcohol addiction

Wednesday Aug 31 2016

"Alcoholics are missing 'vital chemical in their brain' that helps control addiction," the Daily Express reports. Research carried out on rats suggests that low levels of the PRDM2 enzyme could trigger self-destructive addictive behaviour…

Being sick of the daily commute could be affecting your health

Wednesday Aug 24 2016

"Why your commute is killing you: stressful rush-hour journeys are shortening commuters' lifespans," The Sun reports after the Royal Society for Public Health published a report arguing that commuting can negatively impact both physical and mental health…

Childhood head injury linked to range of adult health problems

Wednesday Aug 24 2016

"Millions of Brits face dying early because of something they did when they were children," says the Daily Mirror's needlessly alarming headline. The newspaper reports on a study which found that a head injury causing concussion…

Virtual reality helped improve nerve function in paralysed people

Friday Aug 12 2016

"Virtual reality has helped eight paralysed patients regain some feeling in their legs in 'a big surprise'," Sky News reports. Researchers using virtual reality (VR) combined with a robotic exoskeleton were surprised to find participants…

Volunteering may boost mental wellbeing in older adults

Tuesday Aug 9 2016

"Giving up time for charity work found to boost mental wellbeing as people get older," the Mail Online reports. A new UK-based study found that volunteering was associated with increased mental wellbeing; but mainly in adults aged between 40 and 70…

Claims acupuncture 'staves off dementia' are missing the point

Friday Aug 5 2016

"Acupuncture may help elderly people retain their memory, research suggests," the Daily Mail reports. But the research is not new; it is in fact a review of previous Chinese trials, most of which were judged as being of poor quality…

Around 1 in 10 UK young people report distressing sex problems

Wednesday Aug 3 2016

"Large number of young people experience sex problems," The Guardian reports. In one of the largest UK surveys of its kind, 1 in 10 young men and 1 in 8 young women reported having persistent distressing sexual problems…

Researchers may have found an 'antidepressant roadblock'

Monday Aug 1 2016

"Hope for faster treatment for depression after scientists discover why antidepressants can take months to work," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests manipulating the brain's Gα protein may accelerate the effect of the drugs...

Paracetamol in pregnancy 'link to autism and ADHD' not proven

Monday Jul 4 2016

"Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy 'risk having a child with autism or ADHD'," the Mail Online reports. But the Spanish study it reports on provides no evidence of a direct link to either condition…

Is 'Disney Princess culture' a bad influence on young girls?

Tuesday Jun 28 2016

"Disney princesses such as Elsa from Frozen can damage young girls' body esteem," the Daily Mail reports – inaccurately. The study the news comes from actually found a more complex pattern of influences on both girls and boys...

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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