Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Dementia gene' explored in teens

Tuesday Nov 6 2012

Alzheimer’s could be spotted 20 years before symptoms develop

A "dementia gene" has been found in a third of teenagers, "helping to predict the disease 20 years before devastating symptoms strike", the Daily Mail claims. While, according to the Daily Express, the "dementia gene"...

Failings in diabetes care 'cost thousands of lives'

Tuesday Nov 6 2012

Failings in diabetes care 'costing thousands of lives'

'Diabetes care depressingly poor, say MPs' is the headline on the BBC News website. This is the damning verdict of a select committee report into standards of diabetes care in the NHS…

Could exercise heal a broken heart?

Monday Nov 5 2012

How to heal a broken heart? – Exercise

'Vigorous daily exercise could repair damage caused by a heart attack' The Daily Telegraph advises. The recommendation comes after a recent study found that 30 minutes of exercise a day could promote the growth of new heart tissue...

North-South divide in heart disease deaths

Monday Nov 5 2012

North-South divide in heart disease deaths

‘New study finds heart disease has halved since the 1980s – but Northerners are more likely to suffer stroke or [heart] attack,’ the Daily Mail reports…

Tea cuts bowel cancer risk

Friday Nov 2 2012

Green tea cuts bowel cancer risk

'Green tea may lower the risk of colon, stomach and throat cancers in women' the Daily Mail suggests after the publication of a study looking at the effects of tea drinking in older Chinese women…

More teens seek help for cannabis use

Friday Nov 2 2012

Less teens using cannabis – but more seeking help

New and more harmful strains of cannabis could be responsible for the growing number of teenagers needing specialist help after using the drug, The Daily Telegraph reported today. The story comes from a new report on substance misuse...

What is the Liverpool Care Pathway?

Thursday Nov 1 2012

What is the Liverpool Care Pathway?

There have been several recent news stories about the Liverpool Care Pathway – a programme for delivering palliative care to people with a terminal illness. For example, the Daily Mail described the Liverpool Care Pathway...

'100% accurate' eye test for schizophrenia claim

Thursday Nov 1 2012

'100% accurate eye' test for schizophrenia claim

There is a 'new '100% accurate' test' that 'diagnoses schizophrenics simply by checking their gaze' according to the Daily Mail. The news is prompted by researchers exploring the ability of eye tests to screen for schizophrenia…

Weight loss 'skills training' shows promise

Wednesday Oct 31 2012

'Practice makes perfect' when it comes to dieting

'Weight maintenance is key to dieting', The Daily Telegraph advises after a study found that people who practised weight loss techniques before dieting experienced less weight gain in the following year...

Fish 'may cut' stroke risk – supplements don’t

Wednesday Oct 31 2012

Oily fish does cut stroke risk – supplements don’t

'Eating two portions of oily fish a week could help ward off a stroke, research suggests' the Daily Mail reveals. Sadly, for those of us who are not fish fans, the same research found fish oil supplements had no beneficial effects...

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure provide the answer to your health problem?

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind theses stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Each day there's a new crop of possibly life-changing headlines about how food affects our health. Read our report on the health properties of food.

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Alcohol, myths and the media

Can lager help you live longer? Can wine help you lose weight? We take a sober look at the media’s claims about alcohol, and what the science actually says

Link to Couch to 5K running plan

Couch to 5K running plan

Download the podcasts to go from total beginner to running 5K in just nine weeks


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How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

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