Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can Parkinson's drug help old people decide?

Monday Mar 25 2013

Parkinson drug helps people 'think younger'

"A drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease could help older people make better decisions," the Mail Online website reports after a recent study found that L-dopa, a medication used to boost dopamine levels, aided decision making in some elderly people…

Women who stop taking breast cancer drugs risk early death

Friday Mar 22 2013

Women who quit breast cancer treatment risk early death

“Breast cancer survivors who cut short preventative treatment ‘risk early death’,” The Guardian reports, saying that women who have only three years of preventative treatment rather than five are more likely to die earlier…

Survey finds 97% of GPs prescribe placebos

Thursday Mar 21 2013

97% of GPs admit to prescribing placebos

"Most family doctors have given a placebo to at least one of their patients," BBC News reports. The news is based on a large survey of UK GPs...

Low risk of kidney damage from high-dose statins

Wednesday Mar 20 2013

High dose statins link to kidney damage

Much of the media is reporting the findings of a major study looking at whether 'cholesterol-busting' statins are linked to hospital admissions for acute kidney injury. The Mail Online website warns readers that...

'Bug busting' properties of honey assessed

Monday Mar 18 2013

Manuka honey could be 'superbug buster'

“You won't bee-lieve it! Could manuka honey beat drug-resistant superbugs?” asks the Mail Online website, prompted by a new study into the bacteria killing potential of honey. The study looked at the effects of different types…

Early treatment may hold key to HIV 'functional cure'

Monday Mar 18 2013

New claims about 'functional cure' for HIV

BBC News reports that one in 10 people diagnosed with HIV who receive early treatment could be 'functionally cured'. The news is based on a French study that found that 14 people achieved a functional cure three months after they started treatment...

Waking under anaesthetic may be rarer than thought

Wednesday Mar 13 2013

Now extremely rare to wake under general anaesthetic

'Surgery shock' announces the Daily Mirror, warning that, '150 patients woke up during operations last year and many couldn't alert the doctor.' It's unsurprising that a tabloid headline plays on our nightmares...

Anti-ageing miracle pill claims are unfounded

Monday Mar 11 2013

Could red wine chemical lead to an anti-aging drug?

Drugs that could help people 'to live to 150' could soon be a reality, according to headlines in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. The news comes from molecular-level research into the compound...

Superbug threat is 'ticking time bomb'

Monday Mar 11 2013

Superbugs pose as 'big a risk as terrorism'

There are claims across the media that antibiotic resistance is a ‘ticking time bomb’, with the Daily Express claiming “Superbug threat 'ranks alongside terrorism'”. These headlines reflect the views of England’s Chief Medical Officer…

Swine flu jab narcolepsy risk very small

Wednesday Feb 27 2013

Swine flu vaccine link to narcolepsy established

There have been reports in the media today that the Pandemrix vaccine, used during the swine flu epidemic of 2009-10, increases children’s risk of developing narcolepsy...

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...

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

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Video: clinical trials

In this video, find out about clinical trials, what they involve and who can take part in one.

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

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