Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Migraines linked to increased heart disease risk in women

Wednesday Jun 1 2016

"Women who suffer migraines have a 50 per cent greater chance of developing a major heart … problem," the Daily Mail reports. Individual risks to women remain small, but because migraines are so widespread…

Proof opiates are useful for chronic back pain 'lacking'

Tuesday May 24 2016

"Powerful painkillers doled out in their millions are ineffective against back pain," the Daily Mail reports. An Australian review found evidence for the effectiveness of opiate-based painkillers, such as tramadol and…

Study: 'mini strokes should be treated immediately with aspirin'

Thursday May 19 2016

"People should consider taking aspirin immediately after a minor stroke," BBC News reports. A review of existing evidence found people treated with aspirin after a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA)…

Magic mushroom ingredient tested as depression treatment

Wednesday May 18 2016

"Magic mushrooms 'promising' in depression," BBC News reports. Magic mushrooms is an umbrella term for fungi that contain psilocybin. This is a psychoactive substance that can cause intense LSD-like…

Immune system 'plays a role in dementia'

Friday May 13 2016

"Scientists have identified a new cause of devastating neurological conditions," the Mail Online reports – but this is entirely inaccurate. A review of existing evidence makes the case that the innate immune system may be…

Study finds no link between mobile phones and brain cancer

Monday May 9 2016

"Mobile phones don't increase the risk of brain cancer, 30-year study concludes," the Mail Online reports. The Australian study found the massive increase in mobile phone use over the past 30 years was not matched by a similar rise in brain cancer cases…

UK dementia rates have fallen sharply in men

Wednesday Apr 20 2016

"Dementia rate falls as men behave themselves," The Times reports. A UK study of dementia trends over the last 20 years suggests that the number of men developing the condition has dropped significantly, possibly as a result of lifestyle changes…

Natural protein 'restores memory in mice with Alzheimer's'

Tuesday Apr 19 2016

"Alzheimer's symptoms could be reversed by restoring protein in brain," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers say mice with Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms showed improvement in memory tasks after being given the protein interleukin 33…

Child head injuries could harm relationship with parents

Monday Apr 18 2016

"A simple bang on the head can alter a child's relationship with their parents claim academics," the Daily Mail reports. A Canadian study found children who had experienced even just a mild traumatic head injury…

Can concussion be tested for with a 'simple' blood test?

Tuesday Mar 29 2016

"A new blood test can detect a concussion up to a week after a head injury," the Daily Mail reports. The test involved checking for biomarkers, which are substances created by a specific biological condition or state…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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