Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Gene patterns may explain brain's Alzheimer's vulnerability

Thursday Aug 11 2016

"Scientists say they have discovered a possible explanation for how Alzheimer's disease spreads in the brain," The Guardian reports. Gene patterns in specific areas may explain why the disease tends to start...

Claims acupuncture 'staves off dementia' are missing the point

Friday Aug 5 2016

"Acupuncture may help elderly people retain their memory, research suggests," the Daily Mail reports. But the research is not new; it is in fact a review of previous Chinese trials, most of which were judged as being of poor quality…

Can disruption to your body clock influence back pain symptoms?

Thursday Aug 4 2016

"Scientists have discovered that our spinal discs have a 24-hour body clock that can cause … pain when it gets out of synch," the Daily Mail reports; overstating research limited to mice. While the results may have human implications…

Researchers may have found an 'antidepressant roadblock'

Monday Aug 1 2016

"Hope for faster treatment for depression after scientists discover why antidepressants can take months to work," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests manipulating the brain's Gα protein may accelerate the effect of the drugs...

Menopause 'may mix up exercise reward pathways in the brain'

Friday Jul 29 2016

"Menopause 'crushes your motivation to exercise'," the Mail Online reports. But before you bin your gym card, the study it reports on involved rats, not women. The female rats were genetically engineered to have either a high or low exercise capacity…

Could a hearing test help diagnose autism in babies?

Wednesday Jul 27 2016

"A hearing test is being hailed as a revolutionary technique to spot autism years earlier than current methods can," the Mail Online reports. The test is based on measuring how the inner ear reacts to sound…

'Nine out of 10 strokes preventable,' claims study

Monday Jul 18 2016

"Nine out of 10 strokes preventable if people follow 10 health rules," The Daily Telegraph reports. The news comes from a large study that found the top 10 risk factors for stroke are preventable...

Paracetamol in pregnancy 'link to autism and ADHD' not proven

Monday Jul 4 2016

"Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy 'risk having a child with autism or ADHD'," the Mail Online reports. But the Spanish study it reports on provides no evidence of a direct link to either condition…

Study suggests that inflammation is behind period pain

Thursday Jun 23 2016

"Scientists have finally discovered why periods hurt so much, following a ground breaking study into menstrual pain," The Independent reports. A new study suggests that the pain is caused by acute inflammation, as measured by the C-reactive protein...

Diabetes drugs may be useful for Alzheimer's, mice research finds

Wednesday Jun 22 2016

"Drugs prescribed to treat diabetes could cure Alzheimer's disease" is the significantly over-hyped headline in The Daily Telegraph. What new research did find is that there seems to be shared biological processes between Alzheimer's and diabetes…

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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