Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

A pattern of brain activity may link stress to heart attacks

Thursday Jan 12 2017

"The effect of constant stress on a deep-lying region of the brain explains the increased risk of heart attack, a study in The Lancet suggests," BBC News reports. Research suggests that stress stimulates the amygdala…

Want to feel happier? Take a break from Facebook

Friday Dec 23 2016

"Facebook lurking makes you miserable, says study," BBC News reports after a Danish study found regular users who took a week-long break from the social media site reported increased wellbeing…

Brain tests may predict children at risk of becoming 'social burdens'

Tuesday Dec 13 2016

"Brain tests predict children's futures," BBC News reports. A study found that childhood factors such as low IQ, parental neglect and poor self-control were strongly associated with "socially costly" outcomes in adulthood, including smoking and obesity…

Some psychotic episodes 'may be triggered by immune disorders'

Friday Dec 9 2016

"Sufferers of psychotic illnesses 'may have treatable immune disorder'," The Independent reports. Researchers from Oxford University found around 9% of people presenting with psychotic symptoms also had signs of immune dysfunction…

Men's attitude towards fatherhood 'affects child behaviour'

Wednesday Nov 23 2016

"Children of confident fathers who embrace parenthood are less likely to show behavioural problems before their teenage years," The Guardian reports. A study found a link between positive attitudes towards fatherhood and good behaviour at age 11…

Can a high-tech treatment help combat some of our oldest fears?

Tuesday Nov 22 2016

"Scientists have raised hopes for a radical new therapy for phobias," The Guardian reports. Brain scanners were used to identify brain activity pinpointing when people are most receptive to the "rewriting" of fearful memories…

Scouts and Guides 'grow up to have better mental health'

Thursday Nov 10 2016

"Scouts and guides provide 'mental health boost for life'," BBC News reports. A study of adults with a scouting or guiding background found they were less likely to be anxious or depressed in later life…

Worrying about health linked to heart disease

Friday Nov 4 2016

"Worried well 'make themselves sick'," reports The Daily Telegraph. Several other news outlets covered the same story with headlines about how the "worried well" may be more likely to develop heart disease...

Promising Alzheimer's drug 'clears early hurdle'

Thursday Nov 3 2016

"Alzheimer's treatment within reach after successful drug trial," reports The Guardian as early tests on a new drug show promising signs. The drug, verubecestat, is designed to prevent the brain making a particular...

Smartphones and tablets 'disrupt children's sleep'

Wednesday Nov 2 2016

"Streaming instead of dreaming: Using phones and tablets before bed stops kids from sleeping and can lead to health issues" is the rather poetic headline from the Mail Online. A review of previous data found significant…

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We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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