Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Brain differences linked to chronic fatigue syndrome

Friday Oct 31 2014

Brain differences linked to chronic fatigue syndrome

"Scientists find three differences in the brain [of people with chronic fatigue syndrome]," the Mail Online reports. Researchers used advance brain scanning techniques in 15 people and found three distinct abnormalities in their brain structure…

Details of autism genes uncovered in global study

Thursday Oct 30 2014

Global study learns more about autism genes

"A massive international study has started to unpick the 'fine details' of why some people develop autism," BBC News reports. Analysis of the genes of people with autism suggests certain genetic variants disrupt signalling pathways inside the brain…

A mug of cocoa is not a cure for memory problems

Monday Oct 27 2014

Could cocoa boost memory in older people?

"Cup of cocoa could give the elderly the memory of a 'typical 30 or 40-year-old'," The Independent reports. Before you race down to the supermarket to pick up a tub of chocolatey powder, you might want to pause...

Dopamine drug linked to compulsive sex, shopping and gambling

Thursday Oct 23 2014

Dopamine drug linked to sex, shopping & gambling

"Drugs for restless leg syndrome cause gambling, hypersexuality, and compulsive shopping," Metro reports. A US study found that the dopamine receptor agonists class of drugs carries the rare but severe side effect of encouraging compulsive behaviours…

Changes in 'Parkinson’s walk' predicts dementia

Wednesday Oct 22 2014

Subtle changes in walking 'early sign of dementia'

"Subtle changes in the walking pattern of Parkinson's patients could predict their rate of cognitive decline," The Times reports after new research compared the gait of people with Parkinson's disease with those of healthy volunteers…

Vegetative patients show awareness during scans

Friday Oct 17 2014

MRI scans detected signs of meaningful brain activity

"Vegetative patients may be more conscious of the world than we think," The Independent reports. Electrodes have detected what has been described as "well-preserved" networks of brain activity in patients in a vegetative state…

Broccoli could 'hold the key' for treating autism

Tuesday Oct 14 2014

Broccoli could 'hold the key' for treating autism

"Broccoli chemical may improve autism symptoms," The Daily Telegraph reports. A small study suggests sulforaphane, a chemical that gives broccoli its distinctive taste, may help improve some of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder…

Questions about life after death remain unanswered

Wednesday Oct 8 2014

Whether there’s life after death remains a mystery

“Life after death is a real phenomenon,” Metro reports – but the headline is pure hype. Researchers were actually looking at “near-death experiences” – a very different thing. Indeed, the research involved people who did not die…

Deep-fried Mars bars: no link with sudden stroke

Tuesday Sep 30 2014

Deep-fried Mars bars will probably not give you a stroke

“Eating a deep-fried Mars bar could give you a stroke in minutes,” reports Metro. However, the study that prompted this headline found no evidence that the Scottish snack can potentially trigger a fatal stroke within minutes...

Will a 'wonder drug' be available in 10 years?

Monday Sep 29 2014

Claims of a cure-all wonder drug 'available in 10 years'

"Wonder drug to fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease within 10 years," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. This headline is a textbook example of hope (and hype) triumphing over reality…

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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