Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Youngest children in class 'more likely to be given ADHD drugs'

Monday Jan 23 2017

"Youngest children in class more likely to get ADHD medication, study says," The Guardian reports. The results of an Australian study have caused concerns that, in some cases, immature behaviour may be misinterpreted as evidence of a behavioural disorder…

Yoga 'may improve lower back pain'

Thursday Jan 12 2017

"Yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, a major review of medical evidence found," the Daily Mail reports. The review concluded there is evidence yoga may help improve function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain…

A pattern of brain activity may link stress to heart attacks

Thursday Jan 12 2017

"The effect of constant stress on a deep-lying region of the brain explains the increased risk of heart attack, a study in The Lancet suggests," BBC News reports. Research suggests that stress stimulates the amygdala…

Study reveals how alcohol shifts brain into 'starvation mode'

Wednesday Jan 11 2017

"Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered," BBC News reports. Research in mice found alcohol increased activity in a set of brain cells used to regulate appetite…

People who live near busy roads have higher dementia rates

Thursday Jan 5 2017

"People who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia," BBC News reports. A Canadian study found that people who lived within 50 metres of a busy road were 7% more likely to develop dementia than people who live at least 300 metres away…

New drug proves effective for both types of MS

Thursday Dec 22 2016

"A drug that alters the immune system has been described as 'big news' and a 'landmark' in treating multiple sclerosis," BBC News reports. The drug, ocrelizumab, proved effective in two related studies, for treating both…

MRI scans in pregnancy improve diagnosis of brain defects

Thursday Dec 15 2016

"Detailed MRI scans should be offered to some women in pregnancy to help spot brain defects in the developing baby, say researchers," BBC News reports. A UK study suggests combining an MRI scan with ultrasounds could prevent misdiagnosis…

Some psychotic episodes 'may be triggered by immune disorders'

Friday Dec 9 2016

"Sufferers of psychotic illnesses 'may have treatable immune disorder'," The Independent reports. Researchers from Oxford University found around 9% of people presenting with psychotic symptoms also had signs of immune dysfunction…

Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut?

Friday Dec 2 2016

"Parkinson's disease 'may start in gut'," BBC News reports. New research involving mice suggests that bacteria in the gut may lead to a greater decline in motor function in patients with Parkinson's disease. The study involved a mouse model...

Lack of sleep may disrupt development of a child's brain

Tuesday Nov 29 2016

"New brain scans reveal sleep deprivation damages children's brains more than previously thought," the Mail Online reports. Researchers measured the brain activity of children whose sleep had been restricted by four…

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