Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Link between herpes in pregnancy and autism is unconfirmed

Friday Feb 24 2017

"Pregnant women infected with herpes are 'TWICE as likely to have a baby with autism'," The Sun reports. However, the results the of the study it reports on, was based on just 14 women...

Could brain scans be used to screen for autism?

Friday Feb 17 2017

"Brain scans could identify babies most at risk of developing autism, study shows," The Guardian reports. Researchers think that looking for distinct changes in infant brains could identify some children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)…

Heading footballs 'linked to brain damage in professional players'

Wednesday Feb 15 2017

"As evidence of dementia link to football emerges is it time to stop kids heading the ball?" is the question on the front page of the Daily Mirror. The headline was prompted by the results of a small study where post-mortems…

Does eating liquorice in pregnancy raise the risk of ADHD?

Monday Feb 6 2017

"Avoid liquorice while pregnant: Scientists find one of its ingredients can affect a child's IQ, memory and even cause ADHD," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found eating liquorice in pregnancy is linked to a range of developmental issues…

'Breakthrough in communication for patients with severe MND', study claims

Wednesday Feb 1 2017

"Mind-reading machine allows people with 'locked-in' syndrome to communicate," reports the Mail Online. The report is based on a study that aimed to communicate with four patients unable to speak, move or blink...

Vitamin A deficiency linked to Alzheimer's disease

Friday Jan 27 2017

"Alzheimer's may begin in the womb because mums are short of crucial vitamin, scientists warn," the Daily Mirror reports. New research involving both mice and humans looked at the link between vitamin A…

Youngest children in class 'more likely to be given ADHD drugs'

Monday Jan 23 2017

"Youngest children in class more likely to get ADHD medication, study says," The Guardian reports. The results of an Australian study have caused concerns that, in some cases, immature behaviour may be misinterpreted as evidence of a behavioural disorder…

Yoga 'may improve lower back pain'

Thursday Jan 12 2017

"Yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, a major review of medical evidence found," the Daily Mail reports. The review concluded there is evidence yoga may help improve function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain…

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…

Study reveals how alcohol shifts brain into 'starvation mode'

Wednesday Jan 11 2017

"Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered," BBC News reports. Research in mice found alcohol increased activity in a set of brain cells used to regulate appetite…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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