Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Sex link to older people's brain power, says study

Thursday Jun 22 2017

"Sex is the key to staying sharp in old age," reports the Mail Online after researchers found older people who have regular sex scored better on two of five brain tests. Participants who had sex at least...

Link between stress in pregnancy and ADHD unfounded

Wednesday May 31 2017

"Stressed mothers-to-be face an increased risk of giving birth to a child who will develop ADHD or heart disease later in live," the Mail Online reports. However, the new study it is reporting on did not look at long-term outcomes in children…

Does meditation carry a risk of harmful side effects?

Friday May 26 2017

"Meditation can leave you feeling even more stressed," the Daily Mail reports. The claim is prompted by a study of 60 practitioners of Buddhist meditation in the US which found they'd had a range of "challenging or difficult" experiences…

Instagram 'ranked worst for mental health' in teen survey

Friday May 19 2017

"Instagram is rated as the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people's mental health, a UK survey suggests," BBC News reports. The survey asked 1,479 young people aged 14-24 to score popular social media…

Yoga may bring long-term benefits for people with depression

Friday May 12 2017

"Yoga can ease depression symptoms, according to the largest study to ever investigate the link," the Mail Online reports. The study didn't find any benefits from doing yoga at the end of the 10-week study period…

Weak link between grandmums' smoking and autistic grandkids

Friday Apr 28 2017

"Smoking in pregnancy hurts your grandkids by 'increasing their risk of autism'," The Sun brashly reports. Researchers looked at data spanning multiple generations and reported a link between girls with autism…

Loneliness may make cold symptoms feel worse

Friday Mar 31 2017

"Colds feel worse to lonely people," The Guardian reports. A US study, where participants were infected with the cold virus, found people who said they felt lonely also reported more severe symptoms…

Can playing Tetris help prevent PTSD?

Wednesday Mar 29 2017

"Tetris can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder," reports The Daily Telegraph. An early stage study found that people who'd been in traffic accidents who played the popular computer game while waiting in A&E for treatment had fewer intrusive memories…

Breastfeeding 'doesn't boost children's intelligence'

Tuesday Mar 28 2017

"Scientists found tots given the boob had the same IQ at age three and five compared to bottle-fed youngsters," The Sun reports in its own unique way. An Irish study has found no significant differences in cognitive development between the two groups…

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks 'may be a risky cocktail'

Thursday Mar 23 2017

"Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could be a risky combination, leading to a greater risk of accidents and injuries," BBC News report. A review of evidence found a number of potential risks, but the picture was not as clear-cut as reported…

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