Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Longer sleep linked to stroke

Thursday Feb 26 2015

 Persistent long sleep may be stroke warning sign

"People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke," The Independent reports. After pooling data from previous research, researchers estimate that people who regularly sleep more than eight hours a day have a 46% higher risk…

Media overstates dementia benefits of Mediterranean diet

Monday Feb 23 2015

The Mediterranean diet is similar to the UK's recommended "Eatwell plate"

"New diet to fight dementia," claims the Sunday Express, somewhat predictably, while The Independent reports: "Mediterranean diet could help beat dementia". Despite the media focus...

Researchers may have unmasked mystery of cannabis 'munchies'

Thursday Feb 19 2015

Researchers may have unmasked mystery of 'cannabis munchies'

"Cannabis 'munchies' explained by new study," The Guardian reports. "Munchies" is widely used slang for a common effect of cannabis: sudden hunger pangs, even if a user has just eaten. A new study set out to find why cannabis causes increased appetite…

Molecule could protect against Alzheimer's disease

Tuesday Feb 17 2015

Molecule could protect against Alzheimer's disease

"Alzheimer's breakthrough: scientists home in on molecule which halts development of disease," The Daily Telegraph reports. The so-called "chaperone molecule", known as "Brichos", helps prevent the clumping of proteins…

Super-strength 'skunk' cannabis linked to psychosis

Monday Feb 16 2015

Super-strength 'skunk' cannabis linked to psychosis

" 'Skunk-like cannabis' increases risk of psychosis, study suggests," BBC News reports after a new study found high-potency strains of "skunk" cannabis – infamous for both its strength and its pungent smell – could be linked to one in four cases of…

When Minnie met Mickey: is rodent romance all in the mind?

Friday Feb 13 2015

Hormones 'play a role' in female sexual arousal

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the Mail Online thoughtfully cushions its readers against possible rejection ahead of time: “You may have lit the candles, opened the wine and dimmed the lights. But, inexplicably, your partner still…

Could a 30-minute 'power nap' make up for a bad night's sleep?

Thursday Feb 12 2015

A 30-minute 'power nap' could make up for a bad night's sleep

"Indulging in a power nap can repair the damage caused by a lack of sleep," the Daily Mail reports. But the study that prompted the headline is very small – involving just 11 healthy young men…

Long-term smoking 'may cause' brain shrinkage

Thursday Feb 12 2015

Long-term smoking 'may cause' brain damage

“Smokers have thinner brain cortex and could have impaired thinking,” The Independent reports. MRI scans of long-term smokers show signs that the cerebral cortex – the grey matter of the brain – which plays a key role in…

Shouting 'OW!' may help increase pain tolerance

Monday Feb 2 2015

Shouting 'OW!' may help increase pain tolerance

The Daily Mail reports on what many people have long suspected to be the case: shouting "ow" (or something stronger) may help us cope better with pain...

Media dementia scare over hay fever and sleep drugs

Tuesday Jan 27 2015

Not all antihistamines are the same

"Hay fever tablets raise risk of Alzheimer's," is the main front page news in the Daily Mirror. The Guardian mentions popular brand names such as Nytol, Benadryl, Ditropan and Piriton among the pills studied...

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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