Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can a high-tech treatment help combat some of our oldest fears?

Tuesday Nov 22 2016

"Scientists have raised hopes for a radical new therapy for phobias," The Guardian reports. Brain scanners were used to identify brain activity pinpointing when people are most receptive to the "rewriting" of fearful memories…

Testing sense of smell may give early warning of Alzheimer's risk

Tuesday Nov 15 2016

"A new four-point test has fine-tuned smell exams to check for Alzheimer's," the Mail Online reports. The testing is based on recognising and then recalling certain distinct smells, such as lemon or menthol…

Probiotics 'aid memory in people with Alzheimer's disease'

Friday Nov 11 2016

"Probiotics found in yoghurt and supplements could help improve thinking and memory for people with Alzheimer's disease," The Daily Telegraph reports after a small study found…

Promising Alzheimer's drug 'clears early hurdle'

Thursday Nov 3 2016

"Alzheimer's treatment within reach after successful drug trial," reports The Guardian as early tests on a new drug show promising signs. The drug, verubecestat, is designed to prevent the brain making a particular...

Eating one egg a day may lower risk of stroke

Wednesday Nov 2 2016

"An egg a day can cut chances of suffering a fatal stroke," The Times reports. A new review of existing data covering around 300,000 people suggests eating up to one egg a day may lower stroke risk; but not the risk of heart disease…

Parent training may benefit children with severe autism

Wednesday Oct 26 2016

"A new form of therapy has for the first time been shown to improve the symptoms and behaviour of autistic children," The Guardian reports. A new trial looked at the impact of early intervention in children with severe autism...

Heading footballs may cause short-term brain changes

Monday Oct 24 2016

"Heading a football can significantly affect a player's brain function and memory for 24 hours, a study has found," BBC News reports. The news is based on a small experimental study involving 19 amateur footballers. The players were asked…

Blood pressure drop on standing 'may be linked to dementia'

Wednesday Oct 12 2016

"Have you ever felt dizzy when you stand up?" asks the Mail Online. "You could be more at risk of dementia," the website warns. Researchers in Holland found a weak link between blood pressure drops on standing…

Claims that coffee prevents dementia are lukewarm at best

Wednesday Oct 5 2016

"Coffee really can help to prevent dementia: Just two cups a day 'cuts the risk of developing it by 36 per cent','' the Mail Online reports. But if you look closely at the research behind this report, the results are of borderline significance…

Pollution particles in the brain 'linked to Alzheimer's disease'

Wednesday Sep 7 2016

"Air pollution particles linked to Alzheimer's found in human brain," Sky News reports after new research found tiny particles of magnetite – a potentially toxic by-product of traffic pollution – in samples of brain tissue...

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims made about the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer