Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Effects of vitamin D for heart failure far from 'stunning'

Wednesday Apr 6 2016

"Vitamin D can produce 'amazing' improvements in heart function," claims The Independent about the results of a recent study, while BBC News reported suggestions the results were "stunning". However, the study in question...

New drug 'effective' for those with intolerable statin side effects

Monday Apr 4 2016

"A breakthrough drug can slash levels of bad cholesterol by half without the side effects of statins," the Daily Mail reports. Statins are a class of drug used to reduce high cholesterol levels, often given to people thought to be…

Paracetamol 'useless' in treating osteoarthritis pain

Friday Mar 18 2016

"Paracetamol is next to useless at alleviating arthritic pain," The Times reports. A comprehensive review of existing data suggests paracetamol should not be used in cases of osteoarthritis…

Memories 'taken' by Alzheimer's could possibly be retrieved

Thursday Mar 17 2016

"Memories wiped by Alzheimer's could be revived, research suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research involving mice suggests memories are not destroyed by Alzheimer's disease – rather, there are difficulties recalling them…

Gum disease linked to worsening dementia symptoms

Friday Mar 11 2016

"How brushing your teeth properly can ward of the symptoms of dementia," is the misleading headline in the Daily Mail. In the study reported on, all the participants had dementia. The researchers wanted to see if gum disease made symptoms worse…

Have scientists really discovered why skin ages?

Monday Feb 29 2016

"Powerful anti-ageing treatments which banish wrinkles for good are a step closer after scientists found the enzyme responsible for youthful skin," says the Daily Telegraph. Researchers from Newcastle University...

Link between indigestion drugs and dementia 'inconclusive'

Tuesday Feb 16 2016

"Indigestion pills taken by millions 'could raise the risk of dementia by 50%'," the Daily Mail reports. A German study found a link between the proton pump inhibitor class of drugs and an increased risk of dementia in the elderly…

Alzheimer's disease 'wonder drug' claims are premature

Monday Feb 15 2016

"Millions could be offered wonder drug to prevent Alzheimer's before symptoms appear," is the overhyped headline in the Daily Express. The "wonder drug" bexarotene has only been tested in worms as part of this latest Alzheimer's research…

Exercise in middle-age 'stops your brain shrinking'

Thursday Feb 11 2016

"A new study has suggested that exercising in your 40s could stop the brain shrinking," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study found people with good fitness levels in their 40s had larger brains than their unfit peers when measured 20 years later…

Could statins treat common cause of vision loss?

Friday Feb 5 2016

"Statins could be miracle cure for blindness," reports the Express, following a new study into dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in adults...

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