Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Brain cell reprogramming therapy shows promise for Parkinson's

Tuesday Apr 11 2017

"New technique in which brain cells are reprogrammed could one day provide a cure for Parkinson's disease," The Independent reports. Researchers, using mice with Parkinson's disease, "reprogrammed" cells to replace the nerves lost in the condition…

Tea not proven to 'shield you against dementia'

Friday Apr 7 2017

"It's tea time! How at least two cups a day can shield you from dementia," reports the Mail Online. This rather optimistic headline reports on a Singaporean study of around 900 Chinese people aged 55 and above…

Reports that Marmite prevents dementia are laying it on a bit thick

Wednesday Apr 5 2017

"A daily slice of Marmite on toast may help prevent you getting dementia," the Daily Mail reports, with little justification. A small study did find that Marmite had an effect on electrical activity in the brain, but there is no evidence...

Electromagnetic fields link to motor neurone disease 'weak'

Thursday Mar 30 2017

"Workers exposed to electromagnetic fields in their jobs could be at risk of developing motor neurone disease," the Daily Mail reports. A Dutch study found a link between occupational exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields and increased…

Brain implants allow paralysed man to feed himself

Thursday Mar 30 2017

"New technology allows tetraplegic man to move hand with thought," The Guardian reports. Implants, designed to replicate the function of the spinal cord, have allowed a man, paralysed from the neck down…

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…

Grandparents 'may be first to spot autism in a child'

Friday Mar 17 2017

"Grandmas are usually the first to spot autism in children," the Mail Online reports. The headline was prompted by a US online survey of parents and family members of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)...

'Tooth loss link to increased risk of dementia'

Thursday Mar 9 2017

"Dementia breakthrough: Brushing your teeth 'can help ward off devastating condition'," reads the Daily Express. The news is based on a study that found tooth loss was associated with an increased risk...

Substance found in red wine 'helps fight ageing'

Wednesday Mar 8 2017

“Red wine can ‘help fight the ageing process’ – but how much would you have to drink?,” is the question posed by The Sun, after a US study suggested a substance found in the skin of red grapes may help keep muscles and nerves healthy as we get older...

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...

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