Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

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…

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