Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Family Planning

All doctors are able to offer family planning advice during their normal surgery. Oral contraceptives: Please make an appointment with a practice nurse (or a GP).

  • Coils: Fitted at the Family Planning Clinic
  • Contraceptive implants: We do not fit these at the surgery and will ask you to attend the Family Planning Clinic at Balham Health Centre.
  • Contraceptive injections: Are administered by the practice nurses.
  • Emergency Contraception: Please contact a practice nurse (or a GP) as soon as possible.

The Family Planning Clinic at Balham Health Centre is held on the following days:

Tuesday 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am
Friday 5.00pm - 7.00pm



NHS Choices - Behind the headlines

  • Social care reforms announced

    Most of the UK media is covering the announcement made in Parliament by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, about proposed changes to social care.

    The two confirmed points to have garnered the most media attention in the run-up to the announcement are:

    • a ‘cost cap’ of £75,000 worth of care costs – after this...
  • Does 'ginger gene' offer key to younger looking skin?

    "'Secret' of youthful looks in ginger gene," BBC News reports. Dutch researchers have found evidence that a gene associated with red hair – the MC1R gene – may also have an impact on how young or old a person looks for their age.

    This study examined the facial appearance and genetics of thousands of Dutch elderly adults....

  • Short bursts of intense exercise 'as good' as endurance training

    "Researchers have found that short bursts of intense exercise produce similar results to traditional longer-duration workouts," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers compared two types of exercise programme over a 12-week period with a control. The two programmes were:

    • a 10-minute "intense" workout...
  • Yoga 'probably good for asthma symptoms and quality of life'

    "Yoga could help asthma sufferers, research finds," reports The Independent.

    A major review of existing data found there is "moderate-quality evidence" that yoga improves both symptoms and reported quality of life in people with asthma....

  • Vitamin D, fish oil and folates may enhance antidepressants

    "Do antidepressants work better when taken with supplements?," the Mail Online asks.

    A new review of existing evidence suggests that, "Omega-3 fish oils, certain amino acids, folate and vitamin D" may boost the beneficial effect of antidepressants, the Mail says.

    There was also tentative evidence that S-...

  • Bedbugs 'prefer certain colours'

    "Bed bugs appear to have a strong preference for particular colours," BBC News reports. A new study suggests the pests prefer red and black and "hate yellow and green".

    It's unclear whether changing the colour of your bed sheets would prevent an infestation of bedbugs, though certain colours could prove useful for...

  • Med diet best for heart disease (but some junk food won’t hurt)

    "People with heart disease have a lower risk of heart attack and strokes if they eat a Mediterranean-style diet," The Guardian reports.

    The study it reports on also suggests that the occasional Western-style treat probably doesn't pose much of a risk for people with...

  • 'Transformational managers' may be bad for workplace health

    "Managers who pressurise their staff to go that extra mile risk harming their employees' health," the Daily Mail reports.

    New research suggests "transformational managers" – charismatic high achievers – may increase levels of sickness in the workforce.

    Supporters of transformational management would say it...

  • Daily low-dose aspirin may help combat cancer

    "Aspirin could help beat cancer: Daily pill can 'cuts odds of dying of breast, bowel and prostate cancer by a fifth'," the Daily Mail reports.

    A review of previous studies suggests low-dose aspirin could play a useful role in treating some cancers.

    The review looked at 47 studies and attempted to combine the results,...

  • Attending all-girl school linked to increased risk of eating disorders

    "Anorexia could be 'contagious' in girls' schools," the Daily Telegraph reports, while the Mail Online claims that, "Pushy parents are driving children to eating disorders."

    The study, which took place in Sweden, found that girls attending schools where more parents had a higher education and more pupils were...

  • UK dementia rates have fallen sharply in men

    "Dementia rate falls as men behave themselves," The Times reports. A UK study of dementia trends over the last 20 years suggests that the number of men developing the condition has dropped significantly, possibly as a result of lifestyle changes....

  • Natural protein 'restores memory in mice with Alzheimer's'

    "Alzheimer's symptoms could be reversed by restoring protein in brain," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers say mice with Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms showed improvement in memory tasks after being given the protein interleukin 33 (IL-33), which is thought to boost immune function.

    They used mice bred to...

  • Warning issued over alarming rise in 'super-gonorrhoea' cases

    "Doctors have expressed 'huge concern' that super-gonorrhoea has spread widely across England," BBC News reports.

    Public Health England issued the warning about the rise of a strain of gonorrhoea that has developed resistance to a widely used...

  • Child head injuries could harm relationship with parents

    "A simple bang on the head can alter a child's relationship with their parents claim academics," the Daily Mail reports.

    A Canadian study found children who had experienced even a mild traumatic head injury, may have developed changes to their mood and behaviour.


  • Zika virus 'does cause birth defects'

    "The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention … has confirmed that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects," BBC News reports.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that "a causal relationship exists between prenatal Zika virus infection and...

  • Would you trust a smartphone app as a contraceptive?

    "An innovative new app might provide a more effective form of birth control than the contraceptive pill," The Sun reports.

    The Natural Cycles fertility app combines the use of a thermometer to measure body temperature with calendar calculating methods – often referred to as the rhythm method – to work out the days when a...

  • Study argues ditching butter for veg oil won't prevent heart disease

    "Ditching butter for veg oil may not be better for heart," the Daily Mail reports.

    An analysis of previously unpublished data from the 1960s and 70s found no benefit in replacing sources of saturated fats with vegetable oils.


  • Obesity epidemic blamed for rise in womb cancer

    "Obesity 'likely culprit' behind womb cancer rise," reports BBC News.

    Cancer Research UK has released data showing a marked increase in cases of ...

  • Mystery of the 13 people with 'superhero DNA'

    "Some people appear to be born with 'superhero DNA' that cancels out genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis," BBC News reports.

    A study of more than 500,000 people found 13 people who should have developed genetic conditions, but apparently didn't.

    The study turned on its head the traditional use of genetics by...

  • Anti-smoking drug may also help combat sugar cravings

    "Anti-smoking drugs could stub out your sugar cravings," the Daily Mail reports.

    A study in rats suggests that varenicline (Champix), used to relieve nicotine cravings, could also help reduce the desire to consume sugary foods and drinks.

    Varenicline targets what are known as the "reward pathways" of the...

  • Pregnancy diabetes screening should be 'performed earlier'

    "Tests for diabetes in pregnancy – which affects the developing baby – are taking place too late," BBC News reports.

    Screening often takes place during the 28th week, but a new study suggests that diabetes-related changes to the baby can occur before that time.

    Diabetes that develops during pregnancy – known as...

  • Fruit may be good for you, but don’t ditch the statins

    "Daily fresh fruit lowers heart death risk as much as statins," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A study of over a half a million Chinese people found that a diet rich in fresh fruit was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

    But don't ditch the statins in favour of an "apple a day", if they have...

  • 'Exercise labels' should be added to food packets, expert argues

    "Food and drinks should carry labels showing how long it would take to walk or run off the calories, a leading health expert suggests," the Daily Mail reports.

    In an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal, Shirley Cramer, chief executive of...

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

    "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, which involved giving people with heart failure...

  • 'Dying of heartache?' Heart problems linked to bereavement

    "You can die of a broken heart, study indicates," The Guardian reports. The study found that people who lost a partner – especially if the death was unexpected – had an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat up to a year after the death.

    The study specifically looked at a type of heart condition called ...

  • Choir singing may boost immunity in people affected by cancer

    "Being in a choir could help the body fight cancer by boosting the immune system," the Daily Mail reports. 

    The study involved 193 people from Wales who were affected by cancer in some way. This included people with a history of cancer, carers for people with cancer, and bereaved people who had lost someone to the disease...

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

    "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...

  • Global obesity rates expected to soar in next decade

    "One-fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025," The Guardian reports, while The Sun warns that the "UK's population to be fattest in Europe" by the same date. These are just some of the conclusions of a major modelling study of global obesity trends.

    The study used data covering 19.2 million adults in 186...

  • Can HRT in early menopause cut heart disease risk?

    "Women who take HRT drugs soon after going through menopause are 'less likely to suffer heart disease','' the Daily Mail reports.

    A new study found that early adopters of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might slow their progression...

  • Diabetes drug linked to increased bladder cancer risk

    "The anti-diabetic drug pioglitazone raises the risk of bladder cancer by 63 per cent," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    While the actual increased risk in real-world terms is small, the results may help to inform prescription decisions for both doctors and patients. Pioglitazone is a drug that helps people with ...

  • Embryos with defective cells 'can still develop healthily'

    "Abnormal cells not a sure sign of baby defects," reports The Telegraph following the publication of a study on the development of healthy embryos.

    Embryos containing cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes can still develop into healthy babies, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge.


  • Can concussion be tested for with a 'simple' blood test?

    "A new blood test can detect a concussion up to a week after a head injury," the Daily Mail reports. The test involved checking for biomarkers, which are substances created by a specific biological condition or state.

    In this case researchers looked at two biomarkers – proteins called glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)...

  • Sugar levels in children's fruit juices 'unacceptably high'

    "Fruit juices and smoothies contain 'unacceptably high' levels of sugar," reports The Guardian. That was the stark conclusion of a new study looking at the sugar content of fruit juices and smoothies marketed at kids in the UK.

    Of the 203 kids' drinks the researchers checked from major supermarket shelves, most (117, 58%) ...

  • Mindfulness may be effective for treating lower back pain

    "Meditation could ease the agony of back pain, a study suggests," the Daily Mirror reports.

    A US study compared a technique called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) with usual care and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)...

  • Claims that man flu 'really exists' are unsupported

    "Man flu really does exist," reports the Mail Online in a massive leap from the results of a small study that didn't look at flu at all.

    The study actually looked at why women are more likely to have autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Autoimmune...

  • Could a very low calorie diet 'cure' type 2 diabetes?

    "Dieting for just eight weeks can reverse your diabetes," the Daily Mail reports.

    A small study of 30 people with type 2 diabetes found eight weeks on a very low...

  • People with autism are 'dying younger,' warns study

    "People with autism are dying earlier than the general population," BBC News reports.

    A recent study in Sweden showed the average age of death for a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 54 years, compared with 70 for...

  • Paracetamol 'useless' in treating osteoarthritis pain

    "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 as there are far more effective treatments available.


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

    "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.

    Researchers tested the memory of mice using a technique called contextual fear...

  • Pushy or rude patients 'more likely' to be misdiagnosed

    "'Difficult' patients are more likely to get the wrong diagnosis," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A Dutch study suggests that patients who are aggressive or argumentative may lead doctors to lose focus when trying to come to a diagnosis.

    The study included more than 60 young doctors. They didn't see actual patients,...

  • Common antibiotic for children 'ineffective in half of cases'

    "Antibiotics used to treat common infections in children could soon be rendered useless," the Daily Mail reports.

    A major review of existing data found worryingly high levels of resistance to widely used antibiotics such as ampicillin...

  • Quitting smoking overnight 'better than cutting down gradually'

    "Want to quit smoking? Forget trying to cut down, if you really want to kick the habit 'going cold turkey is the best option'," is the headline from the Mail Online.

    The news website reports on a trial by UK-based researchers that aimed to assess whether it's better to stop smoking gradually or abruptly. 


  • Study suggests gene may turn 'good' cholesterol into 'bad'

    "Some people with high levels of supposedly 'good' cholesterol are at much greater risk of heart disease," BBC News reports.

    Researchers have identified a genetic variant – P376L – that may cause some people to have higher-than-normal levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and may be linked...

  • Gum disease linked to worsening dementia symptoms

    "How brushing your teeth properly can ward of the symptoms of dementia," is the misleading headline in the Daily Mail.

    In the study it reports on, all the participants already had dementia related to Alzheimer's disease. What the researchers...

  • Stem cells used to repair children's eyes after cataracts

    "Children with cataracts regain sight after radical stem cell treatment," The Guardian reports.

    The new operation, carried out on 12 children under two years old in China, was to treat childhood cataracts – a condition where a baby is born...

  • Can chocolate make you smarter?

    "Chocolate makes you smarter, proves 40-year study," claims the Daily Express. The news is based on research which found that people who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better in brain tests.

    Researchers in the US looked at whether eating chocolate regularly – regardless of the type of chocolate or the amount –...

  • 'Carbs linked to lung cancer,' study finds

    "White bread, bagels and rice 'increase the risk of lung cancer by 49%','' the Mail Online reports after a US study found a link between lung cancer and eating a diet with a high glycaemic index (GI), a measure of carbohydrate content.

    The study included more than 4,000 white people from Texas, both people newly diagnosed with...

  • Talc and ovarian cancer: what the most recent evidence shows

    "Talc 'is linked to ovarian cancer','' the Mail Online reports. That is the finding of a recent study looking at whether talcum powder can increase the risk of ovarian cancer – an association made newsworthy by a high-profile court case in the US.

    Researchers studied more than 2,000 women with ovarian cancer and a similar-sized...

  • Early exposure to peanuts 'cuts allergy risk in children'

    "The effects of eating peanut products as a baby to avoid the risk of allergy have been backed up by new research," BBC News reports. A new study suggests eating peanut snacks in the first year of life reduces the risk of a nut allergy in children.

    The study reported results from 550 children who completed a trial where...

  • Can aspirin reduce bowel cancer risk?

    "Taking two aspirin a week could protect against cancer," reports the Daily Telegraph. The Express suggests we should take it daily.

    In a study of more than 130,000 US health professionals, who were followed up every two years for around 32 years, researchers found that aspirin use twice or more per week was associated with a...

  • Can happiness break your heart?

    "Moments of joy 'can damage heart'," reports BBC News.

    That's the finding of a study carried out to assess whether Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) – where negative emotional events, such as grief, cause the chambers of the heart to balloon – can also be triggered by positive emotional events, such as a wedding or a birthday party....

  • No cure for grey hair

    "A cure to dye for … the end of grey hair is in sight," says The Daily Telegraph.

    Several other media outlets have also reported enthusiastically about the discovery of a gene for grey hair, and how this could pave the way for new treatments to prevent – or reverse – greying.

    The stories are a based on a study that...

  • 'Strong evidence' of Zika virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome link

    "Scientists have amassed the strongest evidence yet that the Zika virus can cause the serious neurological condition Guillain-Barré syndrome," The Guardian reports.

    A large outbreak of Zika in the French Polynesian islands saw a spike in the numbers of people with Guillain-Barré syndrome – a nerve disorder that causes...

  • Have scientists really discovered why skin ages?

    "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 found an enzyme called mitochondrial complex II was less active in the laboratory-grown skin cells of older people...

  • Half of all childhood asthma cases are 'overdiagnosed'

    "Half a million children who have been diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the condition," The Daily Telegraph reports. That is the finding of a new study that, while carried out in the Netherlands, is likely to have implications for the UK.

    The study used a ...

  • Researchers discover pancreatic cancer is 'four different diseases'

    "Major insight into killer pancreatic cancer," BBC News reports, after research into pancreatic cancer identified four distinct subtypes. This discovery may lead to new treatments for this notoriously hard-to-treat condition.


  • 'Vaginal seeding' may put newborns at risk of infection

    "'Vaginal seeding' of babies born by C-section could pose infection risk," The Guardian reports. 

    The practice of exposing babies born by caesarean section to their mother's vaginal fluid in an effort to boost their immunity may...

  • Daily diet of almonds is no magic solution for weight loss

    "Desperate to lose weight?" asks the Mail Online. "Eat almonds! Handful a day 'wards off hunger and replaces empty calories from junk food'," it says, without any justification.

    It's hard to see where the headline's over-excited promises of weight loss or reduced hunger come from. The study they write about showed...

  • Air pollution 'kills 40,000 a year' in the UK, says report

    What is the issue?

    "Air pollution is contributing to about 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK," BBC News reports.

    The figures are the conclusion of a report assessing the impact of air...

  • Mobile phone use 'linked to poor sperm quality'

    "Men who talk on their mobile phones for an hour a day 'are twice as likely to have low sperm quality'," the Daily Mail reports.

    Is the use of smartphones damaging men's sperm? The quick answer, based on the results of this study, is we don't know.

    The men studied were already experiencing...

  • New blood test can detect a range of inherited heart conditions

    "A new blood test could help diagnose people with inherited heart conditions," BBC News reports.

    Inherited heart conditions affect around 1% of the population, and can disrupt the normal functioning of the heart – sometimes with fatal results.

    Sometimes a family is only aware they may be at risk of an inherited...

  • Brain scans used to see if Facebook is addictive

    "Facebook has a similar effect on your brain as cocaine," the Daily Mail reports. Brain scans found that students exposed to images associated with Facebook had patterns of neural activity also seen in people with substance addictions or...

  • Evidence of link between Zika virus and birth defect 'boosted'

    "Brazilian study boosts theory that Zika causes birth defect," The Guardian reports.

    Researchers have detected the virus in amniotic fluid surrounding two unborn babies known to have abnormally small heads (microcephaly).

    There had been speculation that other infections may be causing the birth defect, but no other...

  • Organic milk 'is healthier' than conventional milk, study says

    "Organic meat and milk could offer health benefits, study suggests," The Guardian reports.

    The news is the conclusion of two reviews looking at the available evidence on the potential benefits of organic meat and milk compared to their conventionally-farmed counterparts. We decided to focus our efforts on the milk review, as...

  • Link between indigestion drugs and dementia 'inconclusive'

    "Indigestion pills taken by millions 'could raise the risk of dementia by 50%'," reports the Daily Mail.

    This headline is about a class of prescription drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as omeprazole. PPIs are widely used to treat heartburn...

  • Alzheimer's disease 'wonder drug' claims are premature

    "Millions could be offered wonder drug to prevent Alzheimer's before symptoms appear," is the overhyped headline in the Daily Express. 

    The "wonder drug" in question, bexarotene, has only been tested in worms as part of this latest Alzheimer's research.

    In this study, researchers tried to identify drugs able...

  • Iron tablets may damage DNA

    "Iron tablets taken by millions of people could damage the body within just 10 minutes," the Mail Online reports; somewhat over-dramatically.

    A study looking at cell samples in a lab, and not actual humans, did find some evidence of damage to DNA. Whether this would lead to serious damage to the body is unproven.


  • Exercise in middle-age 'stops your brain shrinking'

    "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. The concern is that people with smaller brains may be more likely to develop...

  • Scientists look at what puts the 'junk' into junk foods

    "Scientists say they have cracked what makes processed foods… harmful,"  the Daily Mail reports. A small study suggests that processed foods that are high in "PAMPs" – pathogen-associated molecular patterns – may trigger inflammation inside the body.

    PAMPs are molecules that are associated with infectious bacteria...

  • Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

    "Babies given paracetamol are nearly a third more likely to develop asthma," the Mail Online reports. 

    The study the news is based on also found a link between maternal use of the painkiller in pregnancy, and childhood asthma.

    Pregnant women...

  • New NICE guidelines on sun exposure warn 'tanning is unsafe'

    "No safe way to suntan, new NICE guidance warns," BBC News reports. The guidelines, produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), also stresses the benefits of moderate sun exposure.


  • 'Bionic spine' could pave the way for new paralysis treatments

    "'Bionic spine' could enable paralysed patients to walk using subconscious thought," reports The Guardian.

    In a study using sheep, Australian researchers have developed a device that can record movement signals from the brain. It's hoped this will eventually lead to these signals being transmitted to other parts of the body...

  • Hope that blood test 'could diagnose five types of cancer'

    "A new blood test that detects five different forms of cancer is one step closer to becoming a reality and could save millions of lives around the world," the Mail Online reports. The test looks for abnormal changes in DNA – what is described as a DNA signature.

    This laboratory research looked at ways to identify tumour DNA...

  • Could statins treat common cause of vision loss?

    "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.

    AMD is a condition caused by damage to part of...

  • Smoking bans linked to fewer heart attacks and strokes

    The ban on smoking indoors in public places "has helped save the lives of passive smokers," says the Daily Mail.

    The headline refers to a review of the effects of smoking bans in 21 countries, including England and Scotland. This found fewer admissions to hospitals for...

  • Just one hour of sitting down may increase diabetes risk by a fifth

    "Every extra hour sitting down can raise your risk of type 2 diabetes by a fifth," the Daily Mirror reports. The paper reports on a study that used an accelerometer – a device that tracks movement – to look at the effects of sedentary behaviour on type 2...

  • Weight loss in middle age: A warning sign of dementia?

    "How losing weight in middle age 'could be a sign of dementia'," the Daily Mail reports. A US study suggests there is an association between middle-age weight change and risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – which, in some cases, can be an ...

  • UK regulators give go-ahead for 'embryo editing'

    "UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos," BBC News reports.

    The UK body that regulates research into embryos – the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) – has given a licence to Dr...

  • Young women with high-fibre diet may have lower breast cancer risk

    "Teenage girls who get their five-a-day cut breast cancer risk by up to 25 per cent," the Daily Mirror reports. 

    A US study suggests teenagers and young women who eat a high-fibre diet based on eating plenty of fruit and vegetables have a reduced risk of ...

  • Proton beam therapy 'effective' and 'causes fewer side effects'

    "Proton beam cancer therapy 'effective with fewer side effects'," BBC News reports. A US study found the technique caused fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy.

    Proton beam therapy hit the headlines in 2014 due to the...

  • High-flavonoid foods, like berries and apples, 'prevent weight gain'

    "Get fruity to get fit: Eat more berries to beat a big belly," The Sun reports. The advice is based on the findings of a major new study looking at the effects of foods rich in the compound flavonoid, such as berries and apples, on body weight.

    The researchers tracked around quarter of a million people over 24 years.


  • Antidepressants linked to suicide and aggression in teens

    "Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A review of clinical study reports compiled by drug companies also suggests that risks may have been under-reported. Clinical study reports usually have more detail than...

  • New clues that Alzheimer’s may have been spread during surgery

    "Researchers have reported a second case that suggest [sic] Alzheimer's can be transmitted during medical treatments," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers carried out autopsies of seven people who died from Creutzfeld Jakob Disease (CJD...

  • 'Autistic' monkeys created in controversial study

    "Genetically modified (GM) monkeys that develop symptoms of autism have been created to help scientists discover treatments for the condition," The Guardian reports. 

    The reports are based on news that Chinese researchers have created monkeys with autistic traits using gene editing techniques.

    The monkeys were modified...

  • Zika virus: your questions answered

    "Three Britons have contracted Zika virus – which may cause severe birth defects – after travelling to South and Central America," BBC News reports. So what is the Zika virus and what steps can you take to protect yourself? Answers below. 

    What is the Zika virus?

    The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection, which isn't...

  • Playground equipment contains 'toxic levels of lead paint'

    "Paint on playground equipment has been found to contain high amounts of the toxin lead – up to 40 times recommended levels," BBC News reports.

    Researchers sampled levels at 26 playgrounds in the south of England and the results are worrying. Lead is well known to be a highly toxic metal and its use has been phased out over...

  • Seasonal affective disorder 'may be a myth', study argues

    "Stop blaming SAD for your bad mood – it doesn't exist! Seasonal changes have 'NO effect on depression,'' the Daily Mail reports.

    Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is described as a type of seasonal depression that may partly be...

  • Paternal depression linked to premature birth

    "Depression in expectant fathers linked to premature births," The Independent reports. A Swedish study found a link between paternal depression occurring for the first time and an increased risk of very premature birth.

    The study, which looked at 366,499 births, also confirmed that women with depression before or during...

  • New genetic risk factor for ovarian cancer identified

    "A faulty gene has been identified that increases the risk of ovarian cancer more than threefold," The Independent reports. The genetic mutation, found in the BRIP1 gene, adds to the known genetic warning signs for ovarian cancer.

    Exactly what causes ...

  • Calls for research into health effects of ultrasound exposure

    "Ultrasound in public places could be triggering sickness," the Daily Mail reports.

    Ultrasounds are high frequency sound waves used by a wide range of devices, and are thought to be inaudible to most humans. 

    A review has highlighted how many public places are now exposed to ultrasound, and there is a knowledge gap...

  • Researchers investigate why obesity can trigger bowel cancer

    "Excess calories 'turn off a hormone in the intestine that blocks colon cancer'," the Mail Online reports.

    Obesity is a known risk factor for bowel...

  • Are ads for candy-flavoured e-cigs tempting teens to vape?

    "Advertisements for … flavoured e-cigarettes could encourage children to try vaping," ITV News reports after a study found children shown these ads were more likely to express an interest in trying flavoured e-cigs.

    The study included about 500 UK schoolchildren aged 11 to 16. It aimed to see whether different e-cigarette...

  • NHS Health Checks 'prevented thousands of heart attacks'

    "NHS Health Checks scheme hailed as 'remarkable success'," Pulse magazine reports, while The Sun adds "GP quiz [is a] life saver".

    NHS Health Checks, introduced in 2009, are offered to people aged 40 to 74 years old. They look...

  • Men at high risk of getting HIV 'need preventative treatment'

    "Giving healthy gay men HIV drugs 'could help reverse epidemic'," BBC News reports.

    A modelling study looking at the effects of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), where drugs are used to prevent infection, estimated thousands of new cases of HIV could be prevented.


  • A potato-rich diet before pregnancy could up diabetes risk

    "Eating potatoes before pregnancy increases risk of diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a small, but significant, increase in gestational diabetes risk in mothers who reported eating a potato-rich diet before their pregnancy. 


  • Exercise is 'most effective' method of preventing lower back pain

    "Exercise is the best medicine to banish back pain and stop people taking sick days," reports the Daily Mirror. While this may be true, the research in question did not look at treatments for existing back pain.

    In fact, the researchers reviewed...

  • Sugary drinks linked to increased fat levels around vital organs

    "People who consume sugary drinks are more likely to develop dangerous fat that becomes wrapped around internal organs," the Daily Mail reports after a US study found a link between the consumption of sugary drinks and increased visceral fat levels.

    Visceral fat is fat that develops inside the abdominal cavity. Having high...

  • Arthritis drug could also help combat ovarian cancer

    "A rheumatoid arthritis drug can kill off ovarian cancer cells in women with the BRCA1 mutation," the Mail Online reports. The drug, auranofin, was found to be effective against ovarian cancer cells associated with the BRCA1 mutation.

    The BRCA1 gene – along with a similar gene called BRCA2 – is designed to repair damage to...

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