Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Does eating liquorice in pregnancy raise the risk of ADHD?

Monday Feb 6 2017

"Avoid liquorice while pregnant: Scientists find one of its ingredients can affect a child's IQ, memory and even cause ADHD," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found eating liquorice in pregnancy is linked to a range of developmental issues…

Vitamin A deficiency linked to Alzheimer's disease

Friday Jan 27 2017

"Alzheimer's may begin in the womb because mums are short of crucial vitamin, scientists warn," the Daily Mirror reports. New research involving both mice and humans looked at the link between vitamin A…

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…

Can colic really be cured by acupuncture?

Tuesday Jan 17 2017

"Is sticking needles in babies really the best way to ease distress from colic?" the Daily Mail asks. The question was prompted by a study that looked at whether acupuncture can help with colic in babies…

Some babies should be given peanuts early say new US guidelines

Friday Jan 6 2017

"Babies should be given peanut early – some at four months old – in order to reduce the risk of allergy, according to new US guidance," BBC News reports. The guidelines are based on UK-led research that found early exposure reduced allergy risk…

Grandparents who babysit 'tend to live longer'

Tuesday Jan 3 2017

"Grandparents who babysit their grandchildren tend to live longer than seniors who do not care for other people, a study has found," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found grandparent babysitters had a 37% lower mortality risk…

Sugar tax would 'cut childhood obesity'

Friday Dec 16 2016

'Sugary drinks tax 'will benefit children most',' BBC News reports. A new study, where researchers tried to estimate the impact of a sugar tax on soft drinks, found that it would help combat child obesity as well as tooth decay...

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…

Brain tests may predict children at risk of becoming 'social burdens'

Tuesday Dec 13 2016

"Brain tests predict children's futures," BBC News reports. A study found that childhood factors such as low IQ, parental neglect and poor self-control were strongly associated with "socially costly" outcomes in adulthood, including smoking and obesity…

Child 'more likely to use drugs if mum smoked when pregnant'

Thursday Dec 8 2016

"Children are more likely to use cannabis if their mother smoked while pregnant," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests smoking in pregnancy could affect the genes of the child, increasing their risk of substance abuse in later life…

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