Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Missing link' between brain and immune system discovered

Monday Jun 8 2015

'Missing link' between brain and immune system discovered

"Newly discovered vessels beneath skull could link brain and immune system," The Guardian reports. The discovery, which has been described as textbook-changing, could lead to new treatments for a range of neurological conditions…

Children with autism may be supersensitive to change

Friday Jun 5 2015

Children with autism may be super-sensitive to change

"People with autism … are over-sensitive to the world," the Mail Online reports. It reports on an animal study involving a rat model of autism, where a chemical is used to mimic the development of autism in rats…

Poor sleep quality linked to Alzheimer's disease

Wednesday Jun 3 2015

Poor sleep quality linked to Alzheimer‘s disease

"Sleepless nights … could raise your odds of developing Alzheimer's," is the claim in the Daily Mail. A new US study did find a link between poor sleep quality and higher levels of abnormal proteins in the brain, but no cause and effect was proven…

Cats blamed for children’s poor reading skills

Tuesday Jun 2 2015

Cats blamed for children’s poor reading skills

"Parasite in cats linked to learning difficulties in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A new study suggests that cat ownership increases the risk of Toxoplasma gondii parasite infection, which could affect cognitive functioning in children…

Can 'sleep training' make people less racist and sexist?

Monday Jun 1 2015

'Sleep training' may make people lest racist and sexist

"Levels of unconscious racist and sexist bias have been reduced by manipulating the way the brain learns during sleep," BBC News reports. A small study suggests that exposure to sound related to a previously learned task may combat inherent bias…

No proof orange juice boosts brain power

Monday May 18 2015

Study looks at whether orange juice is a 'brain booster'

"Drinking orange juice every day could improve brain power in the elderly, research shows," the Mail Online reports. Despite the encouraging words from the media, the small study this headline is based on does not provide strong evidence that an…

Does holding your breath during an injection make it less painful?

Friday May 15 2015

Holding your breath before an injection could make it less painful

"Hate injections? Holding your breath can make the pain of jabs more bearable," the Mail Online reports. A team of Spanish researchers mechanically squeezed the fingernails of 38 willing volunteers to cause them pain…

Cannabis-extract pills 'not effective' for dementia symptoms

Thursday May 14 2015

Cannabis-extract pills showed poor results for treating dementia

"Cannabis pills 'do not help dementia sufferers'," reports The Daily Telegraph. Previous research suggested one of the active ingredients in cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)…

Claims a 'sweet tooth' increases your Alzheimer’s risk too simplistic

Monday May 11 2015

Having a 'sweet tooth' could increase your Alzheimer’s risk

"Could cake and chocolate lead to Alzheimer's disease?" The Daily Telegraph asks. The question is prompted by research in mice that found evidence that having a high blood sugar level could lead to damage to the brain…

Texting may help relieve pain during minor surgery

Friday May 1 2015

Texting may help relieve pain during minor surgery

"Need pain relief for surgery? Try a text," the Daily Mail reports. The advice was prompted by a small study that found people who used a mobile phone during minor surgery were less likely to require additional pain medication…

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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