Behind the Headlines

Latest news

  • Apathy unproven as early warning sign of dementia
    Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:40:00 GMT

    “Elderly who lose interest in pastimes could be at risk of Alzheimer's,” reports The Daily Telegraph, with other papers reporting similar headlines.

    These incorrect headlines are based on the results of a study that looked for a link between symptoms of apathy and structural brain changes (on brain scans) in over 4,000 older adults who did not have dementia.

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  • NICE highlights how hand washing can save lives
    Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT

    “Doctors and nurses should do more to stop hospital patients developing infections, an NHS watchdog says,” BBC News reports.

    The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has highlighted how basic hygiene protocols, such as hand washing, may be overlooked by some health professionals, which may threaten patient safety.

  • PET scans may improve brain injury diagnosis
    Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:30:00 GMT

    “PET scans could predict extent of recovery from brain injury, trials show,” The Guardian reports. Evidence suggests that the advanced scanning devices may be able to detect faint signs of consciousness in people with severe brain injuries.

    The paper reports on a study that examined how accurate two specialised brain imaging techniques were at diagnosing the conscious state and chances of recovery in 126 people with severe brain damage.

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  • Cannabis linked to brain differences in the young
    Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:30:00 GMT

    “Using cannabis just once a week harms young brains,” the Daily Mail reports.

    The newspaper reports on an US study that took one-off brain MRI scans of a group of 20 young adult recreational cannabis users, and a comparison group of 20 non-users. They compared their brain structure, focusing on regions that are believed to be involved in addiction.

  • Eating chocolate probably won't save your marriage
    Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:20:00 GMT

    “As blood glucose levels plummet, aggression levels rise, and people take it out on those closest to them,” The Daily Telegraph reports.

    This news is based on an American study into blood glucoses levels and aggression.

  • Salt cuts have 'saved lives,' says study
    Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:20:00 GMT

    "Cutting back on salt does save lives," is the good news on the front page of the Daily Mail. The headline is based on a study of data obtained from the Health Survey for England, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, and the Office for National Statistics between 2003 and 2011.

    The researchers chose 2003 as the start date because this is when the Department of Health launched its salt reduction programme. This consisted of a range of measures, of which possibly the most influential was persuading food manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt put into processed foods.

  • New hepatitis C drug treatment 'shows promise'
    Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT

    "A new treatment for hepatitis C 'cured' 90% of patients with the infection in 12 weeks, scientists said," BBC News reports after a new drug protocol designed to target the protein that assists the spread of the virus through the body has shown promising results.

    The study the BBC reports on involved 394 people with hepatitis C who had not responded to previous standard treatment, or who had responded but later relapsed.

  • Could statins also protect against dementia?
    Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT

    “Heart pills taken by millions of people in Britain could dramatically reduce the risk of dementia,” the Daily Express reports.

    A study from Taiwan has found an association between the use of statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) and reduced dementia risk.

  • No way to reliably identify low-risk prostate cancer
    Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:30:00 GMT

    “Men with prostate cancer being given 'false hope',” The Daily Telegraph reports.

    UK researchers have examined the accuracy of different methods that have sometimes been used (mostly outside the UK) to identify “clinically insignificant” prostate cancers – those that would not be expected to affect a man during his lifetime (meaning he is likely to die of something else).

  • Lab-grown vaginas successfully implanted
    Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT

    "Doctors implant lab-grown vagina" is the headline on the BBC News website, reporting on the latest breakthrough in the increasingly exciting field of tissue engineering.

    In this latest study, tissue engineering was used to develop a vagina for reconstructive surgery in four teenage girls who had the rare condition Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. In this condition, the vagina and uterus do not form properly while the female foetus is developing in the uterus.

Last updated: 15 December 2009