Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Sex link to older people's brain power, says study

Thursday Jun 22 2017

"Sex is the key to staying sharp in old age," reports the Mail Online after researchers found older people who have regular sex scored better on two of five brain tests. Participants who had sex at least...

Risk of aspirin-related bleeding is higher in the over-75s

Wednesday Jun 14 2017

"People over 75 taking daily aspirin after a stroke or heart attack are at higher risk of major – and sometimes fatal – stomach bleeds than previously thought," BBC News reports. Aspirin can help thin the blood, so it is…

Owning a dog may encourage older people to exercise

Friday Jun 9 2017

"NHS should prescribe dogs to keep over-65s fit," the Daily Mail reports. The headline was prompted by the results of a new study with the rather unsurprising finding that older adults who own dogs walk more than those who don't…

Dementia saliva testing 'shows early promise'

Monday May 22 2017

"Simple saliva test for dementia 'shows promise' in bid to diagnose the disease early," the Daily Mirror reports. This news is based on a laboratory study that took saliva samples from 12 healthy adults, nine adults with Alzheimer’s disease…

Keyhole knee surgery is 'waste of time' review finds

Friday May 12 2017

“Keyhole knee surgery for arthritis pain 'is pointless’,” the Daily Mail reports. The headline is promoted by a review of the available evidence around knee arthroscopy (keyhole) procedures for people with degenerative knee conditions like osteoarthritis…

Evidence behind reports of new baldness cure is a little thin

Monday May 8 2017

"Scientists studying cancer stumble on 'breakthrough' in search for baldness cure," announces The Daily Telegraph, adding that not only does this mean "a cream or ointment may soon cure baldness or stop hair turning grey" but also it could…

New glaucoma test could save millions from blindness

Thursday Apr 27 2017

"It might be possible to treat the main cause of permanent blindness before people notice any loss of vision," BBC News report. A proof of concept study of early testing for glaucoma – the most common cause of sight loss – had promising results…

Regular exercise for the over-50s 'sharpens the mind'

Wednesday Apr 26 2017

"Doing moderate exercise several times a week is the best way to keep the mind sharp if you're over 50," BBC News reports. A review of existing data found both aerobic exercise and strength training appeared to improve cognitive functions…

Two older drugs could be 'repurposed' to fight dementia

Thursday Apr 20 2017

"Depression and cancer drugs offer hope for dementia sufferers," Sky News reports. The headline is prompted by a study looking at the effect of two drugs – one used to treat depression and another being trialled for cancer treatment...

'Tooth loss link to increased risk of dementia'

Thursday Mar 9 2017

"Dementia breakthrough: Brushing your teeth 'can help ward off devastating condition'," reads the Daily Express. The news is based on a study that found tooth loss was associated with an increased risk...

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We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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