Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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...

Combined HRT breast cancer risk 'may have been underestimated'

Tuesday Aug 23 2016

"Women who take a common form of HRT are nearly three times as likely to get breast cancer, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment used to relieve symptoms of the…

Calcium supplements linked to post-stroke dementia in women

Thursday Aug 18 2016

"Calcium supplements could dramatically raise the risk of dementia in women who suffer a stroke, a new study found," the Mail Online reports. However, the sample size (98) of women taking supplements was small, which casts doubts…

Volunteering may boost mental wellbeing in older adults

Tuesday Aug 9 2016

"Giving up time for charity work found to boost mental wellbeing as people get older," the Mail Online reports. A new UK-based study found that volunteering was associated with increased mental wellbeing; but mainly in adults aged between 40 and 70…

Menopause 'may mix up exercise reward pathways in the brain'

Friday Jul 29 2016

"Menopause 'crushes your motivation to exercise'," the Mail Online reports. But before you bin your gym card, the study it reports on involved rats, not women. The female rats were genetically engineered to have either a high or low exercise capacity…

'Walk or cycle to work to lose weight' says study

Tuesday Jul 19 2016

"Pedalling the pounds away: Why cycling could be the best way to lose weight," says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on a UK study comparing how different methods of commuting affected obesity levels...

Almost half of all UK adults may be living with chronic pain

Tuesday Jun 21 2016

"Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain…

Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

Tuesday May 17 2016

"Going to church could save your life," reports the Daily Mail, adding that, "Women who worship once a week are '25 per cent less likely to die early'." Perhaps surprisingly, while the first part of the headline is overly simplistic…

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…

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…

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