Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Could curry spice boost brain cell repair?

Friday Sep 26 2014

Curried spice could be booster for brain cell repair

“Spicy diet can beat dementia,” is the unsupported claim in the Daily Express. Researchers did find that the spice turmeric stimulated the growth of neural stem cells in rats…

Media multitasking 'brain shrink' claims unproven

Thursday Sep 25 2014

Media multitasking 'shrinks the brain'

“Multitasking makes your brain smaller,” the Daily Mail reports. UK researchers found that people who regularly “media multitasked” had less grey matter in a region of the brain involved in emotion…

Brain scans offer fresh insights into ADHD

Tuesday Sep 16 2014

Brain scans offer clues into ADHD

"Doctors could soon diagnose ADHD in children with a brain scan," is the over-exuberant headline from the Mail Online. The underlying research, based on comparing the brain scans of 133 people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…

Could meditation help combat migraines?

Monday Sep 15 2014

Meditation may help mitigate against migraines

“Daily meditation may be the most effective way of tackling migraine,” the Daily Express reports. This headline is not justified as it was based on a small pilot study involving just 19 people. It showed that an eight-week "mindfulness-based…

Prescription sleeping pills linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk

Wednesday Sep 10 2014

Sleeping pills may increase Alzheimer’s risk

“Prescription sleeping pills … can raise chance of developing Alzheimer's by 50%,” reports the Mail Online. This headline is based on a study comparing the past use of benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and temazepam...

Brain can be ‘retrained’ to prefer healthy foods

Tuesday Sep 2 2014

Brains retrained to prefer healthier foods

“The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry,” reports BBC News. It reports on a small pilot study involving 13 overweight and obese people…

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

Friday Aug 29 2014

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

“Magnetic brain stimulation treatment shown to boost memory,” The Guardian reports. A new study found that magnetic pulses improved recall skills in healthy individuals. It is hoped that the findings of this study…

Does weight loss surgery affect dementia risk?

Wednesday Aug 27 2014

Weight loss surgery 'may protect against Alzheimer's'

"Weight loss surgery 'reduces chance of Alzheimer's disease'," reports The Daily Telegraph. This misleading headline reports on a small Brazilian study of severely obese women before and after weight loss surgery. None of the women had any signs…

Autistic brain 'overloaded with connections'

Friday Aug 22 2014

Autistic brain 'overloaded with connections'

"Scientists discover people with autism have too many brain 'connections'," the Mail Online reports. US research suggests that people with an autistic spectrum disorder have an excessive amount of neural connections inside their brain…

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of 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

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

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