Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
Balham
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...
  • Paralysed man walks again after pioneering surgery

    "World first as man whose spinal cord was severed WALKS," the Mail Online reports. In pioneering research, transplanted cells have been used to stimulate the repair of a man's spinal cord.

    The headlines are based on a scientific report describing a 38-year-old man whose spinal cord was almost completely severed in a knife...

  • Living with a smoker 'as bad as living in Beijing'

    "Living with smoker 'as bad as living in polluted city'," BBC News reports. Scottish researchers have estimated that the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in smokers' households is similar to those found in a heavily polluted city such as Beijing.

    PM2.5 are tiny particles less than two and a half microns wide that are...

  • BMI tests 'miss' over a quarter of obese children

    "Quarter of obese children missed by BMI tests," the Mail Online reports.

    The headline was prompted by a review that combined the results of 37 studies in more than 50,000 children and found body mass index (BMI) is an imperfect way of detecting excess...

  • Viagra could double up as heart failure drug

    "Sex pill Viagra could help men suffering from heart disease," reports the Mirror. This headline follows a new review into the potential heart benefits of the active ingredient in erectile dysfunction drugs such as...

  • Exercise data signs could cut sugary drink intake

    “Signs warning shoppers how much exercise they need to do to burn off calories in sugary drinks can encourage healthier choices,” BBC News reports. Signs in shops in an area of Baltimore seemed to have led to a change in shopping habits amongst Afro-American teenagers.

    Researchers first studied beverage purchases by black teens at...

  • Vegetative patients show awareness during scans

    "Vegetative patients may be more conscious of the world than we think," The Independent reports. Electrodes have detected what has been described as "well-preserved" networks of brain activity in patients in a vegetative state.

    A vegetative state is when a person is awake and may have some basic motor reflexes,...

  • Crash diets 'work best' claim misguided

    “Crash diets DO work, claim experts,” the Mail Online reports.

    It reports on an Australian study involving 200 obese adults who were randomly assigned to either a 12-week rapid weight loss programme on a very low-calorie diet or a 36-week gradual weight loss programme.

    It found that 81% of people in the rapid weight loss...

  • New way to distinguish between ovarian tumours

    "A new test can help doctors identify ovarian cancer more accurately and cut down on instances of unnecessary surgery," BBC News reports.

    The BBC accurately reflects the findings of researchers who developed new tests for ovarian cancer. These tests use clinical and ultrasound findings to assess whether tumours are benign...

  • Stem cells used to improve low vision

    "Embryonic stem cells transplanted into eyes of blind restore sight," The Daily Telegraph reports, covering a study where human stem cells were transplanted into the eyes of people with visual impairment. This led to a significant improvement in their vision.

    This new research involved nine women with age-related macular...

  • Warnings issued over energy drinks

    “Energy drinks could cause public health problems, says WHO study,” The Guardian reports. A new review discusses the potential harms of these drinks, especially when they are mixed with alcohol.

    Energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster, contain high levels of caffeine, which is a stimulant. They have become increasingly popular...

  • Concerns raised about late diagnosis of lung cancer

    "Doctors in Britain are 'missing opportunities' to spot lung cancer at an early stage," BBC News reports. A study found around a third of people with the condition die within 90 days of their initial diagnosis.

    The study looked at the medical records of more than 20,000 adults who had been diagnosed with ...

  • Broccoli could 'hold the key' for treating autism

    "Broccoli chemical may improve autism symptoms," The Daily Telegraph reports. A small study suggests sulforaphane, a chemical that gives broccoli its distinctive taste, may help improve some of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)...

  • Broccoli could 'hold the key' for treating autism

    "Broccoli chemical may improve autism symptoms," The Daily Telegraph reports. A small study suggests sulforaphane, a chemical that gives broccoli its distinctive taste, may help improve some of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)...

  • Can we count on counting calories?

    It's a concept at the cornerstone of most diets: counting the calories of your food intake so you don't go over the limit.

    But just how accurate are calorie labels? And are some calories more "equal" than others?

    There is a seemingly endless stream of media articles focusing on the latest diet wonder, whether it...

  • 'Poo in a pill' may help treat C. difficile infection

    “Capsules containing frozen faecal material may help clear up C. difficile infections,” BBC News reports.

    While the prospect may sound stomach-churning, swallowing somebody else’s "poo" may help treat symptoms such as chronic diarrhoea, which can be life-threatening. 

    The headline is based on new research on 20 people...

  • Fruit juice link to high blood pressure not proven

    "Does drinking fruit juice give you high blood pressure?," the Mail Online asks, as an Australian study found people who reported a daily intake of fruit juice tended to have slightly higher blood pressure. This finding, the researchers argue,...

  • Is a cure for type 1 diabetes 'within reach'?

    "Type 1 diabetes cure within reach after breakthrough," The Independent reports after researchers have managed to "coax" human stem cells into becoming insulin-producing cells.

    Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the...

  • Antibiotic resistance continues to rise

    "Antibiotic resistance continues to rise," BBC News reports as, despite warnings, the number of antibiotic prescriptions in the UK continues to soar, as do new cases of resistant bacteria.

    Other news reports take different...

  • Could grapefruit juice protect against diabetes?

    “Grapefruit juice 'could be the key to weight loss’,'' is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    It reports on a study in which mice fed a combination of a high-fat diet and grapefruit juice still put on weight – albeit at a lower rate than mice fed a sugary drink. Their blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity were also...

  • 'Healthy foods expensive' claim is unrealistic

    “Healthy food now costs three times as much as junk, study shows,” The Independent reports. It also reports a sharper rise in the cost of fruit and veg over the past decade compared to other types of foods.

    This news story is based on research which looked at changes in the price of 94 food items in the UK in the decade from 2002 to...

  • Questions about life after death remain unanswered

    “Life after death is a real phenomenon,” the Metro reports – but the headline is pure hype. Researchers were actually looking at “near-death experiences” – a very different thing. Indeed, the research involved people who did not die (even “technically”).

    Near-death experiences are reported by people claiming to have...

  • Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

    "There is no such thing as a vaginal orgasm," says the Mail Online, in a story that suggests some women have been diagnosed with sexual disorders based on the "myth" that they can orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone.

    The news comes from a review of existing (not new) evidence, and its authors make some very...

  • Ebola could reach UK, but outbreak risk is low

    “Global threat of Ebola: From the US to China, scientists plot spread of deadly disease across the world from its West African hotbed,” reports the Mail Online. This is a terrifyingly apocalyptic-sounding headline, yet the real story about Ebola is that, while still frightening and deadly, it is still a very low risk to people in the UK....

  • Cannabis labelled 'harmful and as addictive as heroin'

    "Cannabis: the terrible truth," is today's Daily Mail front page splash story. The paper cites the risks posed by cannabis – including a doubling of the risk of schizophrenia – based on research the paper says has "demolished the argument that the drug is safe".

    The "terrible truth" is we still don't know...

  • Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more'

    “Sitting next to overweight people makes you more likely to gorge on unhealthy food,” the Daily Express reports.

    The paper reports on a small-scale research experiment showing that the presence of an overweight woman (an actress in a fat suit) near a buffet made student volunteers choose and eat a larger amount of unhealthy food (...

  • Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

    "Green tea could helps [sic] scientists develop new cancer fighting drugs," the Mail Online reports. But before you rush out to the shops, in no way does this study suggest green tea can fight cancer.

    Instead, research has found a compound in green tea – the catchily named Epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) – may help...

  • Study finds clue to why colds trigger asthma

    The Mail Online reports how "a simple cold can set off a deadly asthma attack: Scientists discover chemical can send the immune system into overdrive".

    It is well known that in people with asthma, respiratory infections such as ...

  • Moderate regular drinking may 'damage sperm'

    “Just five alcoholic drinks a week could reduce sperm quality,” The Guardian reports. A study involving Danish military recruits found that even moderate drinking, if done regularly, was associated with a drop in quality.

    The study involved 1,200 young Danish military recruits (with an average age of 19), and assessed their semen...

  • Scientists look into regenerating retinal cells

    “Scientists … have discovered stem cells in the human eye which can be transformed into light-sensitive cells and potentially reverse blindness,” The Daily Telegraph reports.

    While this story is an accurate summary, the research is still at a very early stage, but does show potential.

    The cells in question are called limbal...

  • Does losing your sense of smell predict death risk?

    "Sense of smell 'may predict lifespan'," BBC News reports. New research suggests people unable to smell distinctive scents such as peppermint or fish may have an increased risk of death within five years of losing their sense of smell.

    The study found older adults aged 57 or above who could not correctly identify five...

  • Minimum alcohol pricing would 'save 100s of lives'

    “‘Hundreds of lives lost' over failure to bring in minimum alcohol pricing,” The Independent reports.

    The news is based on research that modelled the effect of a minimum alcohol price per unit of around 40-50p. It suggested that this would be 50 times more effective than the current ban on "below-cost sales" (where alcohol...

  • Viagra 'may cause visual disturbance' in some men

    "Viagra may permanently damage vision in some men, study finds," reports The Guardian. But the news is, in fact, based on research in mice.

    This research suggests the medication may not be suitable for men who carry a gene mutation associated with the inherited eye condition retinitis pigmentosa.

    Researchers found...

  • One in eight three-year-olds has tooth decay

    "Tooth decay affects 12% of three-year-olds, says survey," BBC News reports. The survey, carried out by Public Health England, found big variations in different parts of the country. Experts believe sugary drinks are to blame for this trend.

    The survey looked at the prevalence and severity of tooth decay in three-year-old...

  • Deep-fried Mars bars – unhealthy, but no killer

    “Eating a deep-fried Mars bar could give you a stroke in minutes,” reports the Metro.

    However, the study that prompted this headline found no evidence that the Scottish snack can potentially trigger a fatal stroke within minutes. 

    Fans of deep-fried Mars bars actually have little to worry about in this regard, aside from the...

  • Will a 'wonder drug' be available in 10 years?

    "Wonder drug to fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease within 10 years," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    This headline is a textbook example of hope (and hype) triumphing over reality, as the new "wonder drug" is neither available today nor inevitable in the future.

    The headline was based on a study...

  • Cherry juice touted as treatment for gout

    “Daily drinks of cherry juice concentrate could help thousands of patients beat gout,” the Mail on Sunday reports.

    This headline is based on a small study that found drinking tart cherry juice twice a day temporarily lowered the blood uric acid levels of 12 young healthy volunteers for up to eight hours after they consumed the drink....

  • Could curry spice boost brain cell repair?

    “Spicy diet can beat dementia,” is the unsupported claim in the Daily Express. Researchers found that the spice turmeric stimulated the growth of neural stem cells in rats, though this is a long way from an effective dementia treatment for humans.

    This was laboratory and animal research investigating the effect of a turmeric extract (...

  • Could curry spice boost brain cell repair?

    “Spicy diet can beat dementia,” is the unsupported claim in the Daily Express. Researchers found that the spice turmeric stimulated the growth of neural stem cells in rats, though this is a long way from an effective dementia treatment for humans.

    This was laboratory and animal research investigating the effect of a turmeric extract (...

  • Antibiotic treatments 'fail' 15% of the time

    “Antibiotic treatments from GPs 'fail 15% of the time’,'' BBC News reports. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers estimated that just under one in seven antibiotic prescriptions in 2011 "failed".

    This study examined the...

  • 15% of antibiotic treatments 'fail'

    “Antibiotic treatments from GPs 'fail 15% of the time’,'' BBC News reports. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers estimated that just under one in seven antibiotic prescriptions in 2011 "failed".

    This study examined...

  • Skirt size increase ups breast cancer risk

    “Skirt size increase linked to breast cancer risk,” BBC News reports. The story comes from a UK study of nearly 93,000 postmenopausal women that looked at whether changes in skirt size since their twenties was associated with increased risk of breast...

  • Skirt size increase ups breast cancer risk

    “Skirt size increase linked to breast cancer risk,” BBC News reports. The story comes from a UK study of nearly 93,000 postmenopausal women that looked at whether changes in skirt size since their twenties was associated with increased risk of breast...

  • Media multitasking 'brain shrink' claims unproven

    “Multitasking makes your brain smaller,” the Daily Mail reports. UK researchers found that people who regularly “media multitasked” had less grey matter in a region of the brain involved in emotion.

    The researchers were specifically interested in what they term media multitasking; for example checking your Twitter feed on your...

  • Media multitasking 'brain shrink' claims unproven

    “Multitasking makes your brain smaller,” the Daily Mail reports. UK researchers found that people who regularly “media multitasked” had less grey matter in a region of the brain involved in emotion.

    The researchers were specifically interested in what they term media multitasking; for example checking your Twitter feed on your...

  • Benefits of statins 'outweigh diabetes risk'

    “Statins increase risk of diabetes, but benefits are still worth it, say experts,” The Guardian reports.

    A large study found the medication lead to a modest increase in weight and subsequent diabetes risk. The authors report that these risks were more than offset by the reduction in...

  • Benefits of statins 'outweigh diabetes risk'

    “Statins increase risk of diabetes, but benefits are still worth it, say experts,” The Guardian reports.

    A large study found the medication lead to a modest increase in weight and subsequent diabetes risk. The authors report that these risks were more than offset by the reduction in...

  • Ebola set to get worse

    “Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November,” BBC News reports, following the publication of an analysis of the current epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The report assesses what is known about the spread and devastating impact of the Ebola outbreak to date, while also predicting what may happen in the near...

  • Ebola outbreak to get worse, says WHO

    “Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November,” BBC News reports, following the publication of an analysis of the current epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The report assesses what is known about the spread and devastating impact of the Ebola outbreak to date, while also predicting what may happen in the near...

  • Watch less TV to prevent obesity, says NICE

    “Take TV-free days to combat obesity, health experts urge,” The Guardian reports. This is one of a range of new recommendations from National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) draft guidelines that are designed to help adults and children maintain a healthy weight....

  • Job insecurity may increase adult asthma risk

    “People fearful of losing their jobs are 60% more likely to develop asthma,” The Independent reports.

    Researchers have looked at whether perceived job insecurity (specifically, the likelihood that they would lose their jobs) affected people’s risk of developing ...

  • Watch less TV to prevent obesity, says NICE

    “Take TV-free days to combat obesity, health experts urge,” The Guardian reports. This is one of a range of new recommendations from National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) draft guidelines that are designed to help adults and children maintain a healthy weight....

  • Job insecurity may increase adult asthma risk

    “People fearful of losing their jobs are 60% more likely to develop asthma,” The Independent reports.

    Researchers have looked at whether perceived job insecurity (specifically, the likelihood that they would lose their jobs) affected people’s risk of developing ...

  • Late cancer diagnosis 'costing lives and money'

    "Almost half of cancer patients diagnosed too late," says The Guardian, citing a new report that explored both the financial and health impact of late cancer diagnosis.

    The late diagnosis of almost all types of cancer usually means the disease has already spread within the body, making it less treatable, reducing a patient's...

  • Late cancer diagnosis 'costing lives and money'

    "Almost half of cancer patients diagnosed too late," says The Guardian, citing a new report that explored both the financial and health impact of late cancer diagnosis.

    The late diagnosis of almost all types of cancer usually means the disease has already spread within the body, making it less treatable, reducing a patient'...

  • Dry-roasted peanuts may be worst for nut allergies

    “Dry-roasted peanuts 'worst for allergies',” the Mail Online reports. New research involving mice suggests that the roasting process increases the "allergic power" of peanuts.

    Researchers exposed mice to small amounts of proteins derived from either "raw" peanuts or dry-roasted peanuts, to “prime” their immune...

  • Dry-roasted peanuts may be worst for nut allergies

    “Dry-roasted peanuts 'worst for allergies',” the Mail Online reports. New research involving mice suggests that the roasting process increases the "allergic power" of peanuts.

    Researchers exposed mice to small amounts of proteins derived from either "raw" peanuts or dry-roasted peanuts, to “prime” their immune...

  • Mums 'feel shame' about how they feed their babies

    "Mothers are made to feel 'marginalised and ashamed' when they breastfeed in public, according to an international study," the Mail Online reports. But the same study found mothers who bottlefeed also feel subject to criticism.

    The study used discussion groups and interviews to explore the thoughts, feelings and experiences...

  • 'Angelina Jolie effect' doubled breast gene tests

    “Referrals to breast cancer clinics more than doubled in the UK after Angelina Jolie announced she had had a double mastectomy,” BBC News reports. NHS services saw a sharp rise in referrals from women worried about their family history of breast cancer.

    In May 2013, actress Angelina Jolie announced that she had decided to undergo a...

  • Chokeberry extract 'boosts pancreas cancer chemo'

    “Wild berries native to North America may have a role in boosting cancer therapy,” BBC News reports.

    It has been found – in a laboratory study using pancreatic cancer cells – that chokeberry extract may help increase the powers of chemotherapy drugs in treating ...

  • Do artificial sweeteners raise diabetes risk?

    "Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists," reports The Guardian. But before you go clearing your fridge of diet colas, the research in question – extensive as it was – was mainly in mice.

    The researchers' experiments suggest artificial sweeteners, particularly saccharin, change the bacteria that normally...

  • Cosmetics blamed for raised child asthma risk

    "Chemicals in make-up and perfumes fuelling rise in children with asthma," reports the Mail Online.

    One scientist, the website claims, suggests that women should take measures such as checking the contents of their make-up and avoiding using plastic containers for food.

    This story is based on research following 300...

  • HPV urine test could screen for cervical cancer

    "A simple urine test which can detect the human papilloma virus (HPV) could offer women a much less invasive alternative to [current] cervical cancer screening," The Independent reports.

    Research found urine-based testing for HPV DNA showed signs it might be accurate enough to provide a viable screening method, given...

  • Sugar intake guideline 'needs lowering'

    “Sugar intake must be slashed further,” reports BBC News today.

    The news reports follow an ecological study estimating the burden of disease caused by sugar-related tooth decay in adults and children across a life course, in a number of different countries...

  • Brain scans offer fresh insights into ADHD

    "Doctors could soon diagnose ADHD in children with a brain scan," is the over-exuberant headline from the Mail Online.

    The underlying research, based on comparing the brain scans of 133 people with attention deficit...

  • 'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

    "Scientists have managed to 'reset' human stem cells," the Mail Online reports. It is hoped studying these cells will provide more information about the mechanics of early human development.

    This headline comes from a laboratory study that reports to have found a way to turn the clock back on human stem cells so they exhibit...

  • Could meditation help combat migraines?

    “Daily meditation may be the most effective way of tackling migraine,” the Daily Express reports.

    This headline is not justified, as it was based on a small pilot study involving just 19 people.

    It showed that an eight week "mindfulness-based stress reduction course" (a combination of mediation and yoga-based practices...

  • Pregnant drink binges harm kids' mental health

    “Binge drinking ONCE during pregnancy can damage your child's mental health and school results,” says the Mail Online. 

    The headline follows an analysis of results from a study including thousands of women and their children. In analyses of up to 7,000 children, researchers found that children of women who engaged in binge drinking at...

  • Weight discrimination study fuels debate

    Much of the media has reported that discriminatory “fat shaming” makes people who are overweight eat more, rather than less.

    The Daily Mail describes how, “telling someone they are piling on the pounds just makes them delve further into the biscuit tin”. While this image may seem like a commonsense “comfort eating” reaction, the...

  • 'Food addiction' doesn't exist, say scientists

    “Food is not addictive ... but eating is: Gorging is psychological compulsion, say experts,” the Mail Online reports.

    The news follows an article in which scientists argue that – unlike drug addiction – there is little evidence that people become addicted to the substances in certain foods.

    Researchers argue that instead of...

  • Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

    “Bacteria found in honeybee stomachs could be used as alternative to antibiotics,” reports The Independent.

    The world desperately needs new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of bacteria developing resistance to drug treatment. A new study has found that 13 bacteria strains living in honeybees’ stomachs can reduce the growth of...

  • Hundreds report waking up during surgery

    “At least 150, and possibly several thousand, patients a year are conscious while they are undergoing operations,” The Guardian reports. A report suggests “accidental awareness” during surgery occurs in around one in 19,000 operations.

    The report containing this information is the...

  • Prescription sleeping pills linked to Alzheimer’s risk

    “Prescription sleeping pills … can raise chance of developing Alzheimer's by 50%,” reports the Mail Online.

    This headline is based on a study comparing the past use of benzodiazepines, such as...

  • Sibling bullying linked to young adult depression

    “Being bullied regularly by a sibling could put children at risk of depression when they are older,” BBC News reports.

    A new UK study followed children from birth to early adulthood. Analysis of more than 3,000 children found those who reported frequent sibling bullying at age 12 were about twice as likely to report high levels of...

  • Regular walking breaks 'protect arteries'

    “Just a five-minute walk every hour helps protect against damage of sitting all day,” the Mail Online reports.

    A study of 12 healthy but inactive young men found that if they sat still without moving their legs for three hours, the walls of their main leg artery showed signs of decreased flexibility. However, this was “prevented” if...

  • Ebola vaccine hope after successful animal study

    “Hopes for an effective Ebola vaccine have been raised after trials of an experimental jab found that it gave monkeys long-term protection,” The Guardian reports. An initial animal study found that a new vaccine boosted immunity.

    Ebola is an extremely...

  • Wearing a bra 'doesn't raise breast cancer risk'

    “Scientists believe they have answered the decades long debate on whether wearing a bra can increase your risk of cancer,” reports The Daily Telegraph.

    There is an "urban myth" that wearing a bra disrupts the workings of the lymphatic system (an essential part of the immune system), which could lead to a build-up of toxins...

  • Gay people have 'poorer health' and 'GP issues'

    “Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are more likely to have longstanding mental health problems,” The Independent reports, as well as “bad experiences with their GP”. A UK survey found striking disparities in survey responses compared to heterosexuals.

    The news is based on the results of a survey in England of more than 2 million people,...

  • 1 in 5 child deaths 'preventable'

    “One in five child deaths ‘preventable’,” reports BBC News.

    The headline was prompted by the publication of a three-part series of papers on child death in high-income countries published in The Lancet.

    The reviews outlined the need for child death reviews to identify modifiable risk factors, described patterns of child...

  • How immunotherapy may treat multiple sclerosis

    “Breakthrough hope for MS treatment as scientists discover how to ‘switch off’ autoimmune diseases,” reports the Mail Online.

    Autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), occur when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body...

  • Claims e-cigarettes are a 'gateway to cocaine'

    “E-cigarettes could lead to using cocaine and cannabis scientists say,” the Daily Mirror reports.

    In an article sure to prove controversial, two neuroscientists argue that nicotine may "prime" the brain to become addicted to harder drugs, such as cocaine.

    The story comes from an article that argues...

  • What is proton beam therapy?

    Proton beam therapy has been discussed widely in the media in recent days.

    This is due to the controversy surrounding the treatment of a young boy called Ashya King, who has medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer.

    Ashya was reportedly taken abroad by his parents to receive proton beam therapy.

    But what does proton beam...

  • Missing breakfast linked to type 2 diabetes

    "Skipping breakfast in childhood may raise the risk of diabetes," the Mail Online reports. A study of UK schoolchildren found that those who didn’t regularly eat breakfast had early signs of having risk markers for type 2 diabetes.

    The study...

  • Lumpectomy 'as effective as double mastectomy'

    “Double mastectomy for breast cancer 'does not boost survival chances' – when compared to breast-conserving surgery," The Guardian reports.

    The news is based on the results of a large US cohort study of women with early stage breast cancer...

  • Could watching action films make you fat?

    “Couch potatoes captivated by fast-paced action films eat far more than those watching more sedate programmes,” The Independent reports.

    A small US study found that people snacked more when watching action-packed movies.

    The study took 94 US student volunteers and randomly assigned them in groups to watch 20 minutes of either...

  • Brain can be ‘retrained’ to prefer healthy foods

    “The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry,” reports BBC News.

    It reports on a small pilot study involving 13 overweight and obese people who, aside from their weight, were...

  • Heart failure drug could 'cut deaths by a fifth'

    “A new drug believed to cause a 20 per cent reduction in heart failure deaths could present a 'major advance' in treatment,” The Independent reports.

    The drug, LCZ696, helps improve blood flow in heart failure patients. Heart failure is a syndrome caused by the heart not working properly, which can make people vulnerable to serious...

  • Students 'showing signs of phone addiction'

    “Students spend up to 10 hours a day on their mobile phones,” the Mail Online reports. The results of a US study suggest that some young people have developed an addiction to their phone.

    Mobile or “cell” phone addiction is the habitual drive or compulsion to continue to use a mobile phone, despite its negative impact on one’s...

  • Plain cigarette pack fears 'unfounded,' says study

    "Cigarette plain packaging fear campaign unfounded," reports The Guardian.

    After Australia introduced plain packaging laws in 2012, opponents of the legislation argued it would lead to a number of unintended consequences, including:

    • the market would become flooded by cheap Asian brands
    • smokers...
  • Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

    “Magnetic brain stimulation treatment shown to boost memory,” The Guardian reports. A new study found that magnetic pulses improved recall skills in healthy individuals. It is hoped that the findings of this study could lead to therapies for people with memory deficits such as...

  • Tomato-rich diet 'reduces prostate cancer risk'

    “Tomatoes ‘cut risk of prostate cancer by 20%’,” the Daily Mail reports, citing a study that found men who ate 10 or more portions a week had a reduced risk of the disease.

    The study in question gathered a year’s dietary information from 1,806 men who were found to have ...

  • Depression therapy aids other cancer symptoms

    "Depression therapy could help cancer patients fight illness," reports The Daily Telegraph.

    The headline follows a study of intensive treatment of clinical depression given to people who had both depression and cancer – delivered as part of their...

  • Does weight loss surgery affect dementia risk?

    "Weight loss surgery 'reduces chance of Alzheimer's disease'," reports The Daily Telegraph. This misleading headline reports on a small Brazilian study of severely obese women before and after weight loss surgery. None of the women had any signs or symptoms of Alzheimer's.

    Seventeen women with an average body mass index (BMI...

  • Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

    “Pregnant women who take anti-depressants 'could raise their child's risk of ADHD',” reports the Mail Online, saying that this could explain “the rise in children with short attention spans”.

    The study in question compared children with ...

  • Common bacteria could help prevent food allergies

    "Bacteria which naturally live inside our digestive system can help prevent allergies and may become a source of treatment," BBC News reports after new research found evidence that Clostridia bacteria helps prevent peanut allergies in mice.

    The study in question showed that mice lacking normal gut bacteria showed increased...

  • Breakfast 'not the most important meal of the day'

    "Breakfast might not be the most important meal of the day after all,” the Mail Online reports.

    The concept that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is up there in the pantheon of received wisdom with “never swim after eating” or “getting wet will give you a cold”. But is there any hard evidence to back the claim?

    ...
  • Autistic brain 'overloaded with connections'

    "Scientists discover people with autism have too many brain 'connections'," the Mail Online reports. US research suggests that people with an autistic spectrum disorder have an excessive amount of neural connections inside their brain.

    The headline is based on the results of a study that found that at post-mortem, brains of...

  • Dual vaccine approach could help eradicate polio

    Double vaccines "could hasten the end of polio", BBC News reports. Researchers in India found that using a combination of the oral and injected vaccines provided enhanced protection against the disease.

    Polio is a viral infection that can cause paralysis and death. Thanks to initiatives such as the ...

  • Botox may be useful in treating stomach cancers

    "Botox may have cancer fighting role," BBC News reports after research involving mice found using Botox to block nerve signals to the stomach may help slow the growth of stomach cancers. Botox, short for botulinum toxin, is a powerful...

  • 'Fat and 30' link to dementia is inconclusive

    “People as young as 30 who are obese may be at greater risk [of dementia],” The Independent reports.

    This UK study examined a set 14-year period (1998 to 2011) and looked at whether NHS hospital records documenting obesity in adults above the...

  • Could failure to breastfeed cause depression?

    Mothers who plan, but are unable, to breastfeed their babies are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression, report BBC News and The Independent.

    A study of 14,000 women in England found that those who planned to breastfeed but had not managed to were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop postnatal depression, compared to...

  • Common antibiotic linked to 'tiny' rise in heart deaths

    An antibiotic given to millions of people in the UK to treat chest infections has been linked to an increased risk of heart death, report The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

    A Danish study of three antibiotics found the risk of death from any heart condition while taking the antibiotic clarithromycin is slightly higher than with...

  • Are good neighbours really life-savers?

    “Having good neighbours can help cut heart attack risk,” reports The Independent.

    The paper reports on a nationally representative US study of over 5,000 adults over the age of 50.

    People were asked about how they rated their neighbourhood social cohesion, then followed up for four years to see if they had a...

  • Targeted brain stimulation 'could aid stroke recovery'

    "Stimulating the part of the brain which controls movement may improve recovery after a stroke," BBC News reports after researchers used lasers to stimulate a particular region of the brain with promising results in mice.

    The researchers were looking at a sub-type of stroke known as...

  • Depression 'common' in early Parkinson’s

    “Depression more common in early Parkinson’s,” BBC News reports, as a new study investigates the impact this degenerative condition can have on mental health.

    Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition caused by a lack of the chemical dopamine...

  • Bone marrow drug could treat alopecia

    “Alopecia sufferers given new treatment hope with repurposed drug,” The Guardian reports.

    Alopecia is a type of autoimmune condition where the body’s own immune cells start to attack the hair follicles for an unknown reason, leading to hair loss.

    ...

  • Macmillan finds cancer survival 'postcode lottery'

    “Cancer postcode lottery ‘costs 6,000 lives a year’,” reports The Times.

    This, and similar headlines, are based on cancer survival figures compiled by Macmillan Cancer Support. The cancer charity’s report suggests that the proportion of people who die within a year of a ...

  • Caution urged over CT scan radiation doses

    BBC News reports on a sharp rise in the number of CT scans being performed, exposing people to the potential health risks of radiation.

    However, as The Daily Telegraph says, it is not possible to calculate the cancer risk due to exposure to CT scans because there is a lack of data.

    These media stories follow the publication of...

  • High-salt diet linked to 1.6 million heart deaths

    "Salty diet 'causes 1.6 million deaths worldwide each year'," reports The Daily Telegraph. It goes on to quote a researcher saying this is "nearly 1 in 10 of all deaths from cardiovascular causes worldwide".

    This scary-sounding headline has a grain of truth in it, but the science it's based on doesn't prove that...

  • Is UK obesity fuelling an increase in 10 cancers?

    “Being overweight and obese puts people at greater risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers,” reports BBC News.

    The news is based on research using information in UK GP records for more than 5 million people, to see whether body mass index (BMI) was...

  • Salt injections: not a cure for cancer

    “Salt injection ‘kills cancer cells’ by causing them to self-destruct,” reports the Mail Online.

    Despite this headline, there is no new treatment for cancer using salt. The Mail Online reports on an early phase of experiments in laboratories that have worked out how increasing the amount of sodium chloride (salt) within a cell causes...

  • Anti-obesity drugs 'may still work in middle-age'

    “Drug to halt the dreaded spread of middle age,” reports The Daily Telegraph, with similar headlines on the Daily Express and Daily Mail websites.

    However, these claims are rather premature given the research they’re based on anti-obesity drugs that aren’t licensed for use in the UK. Also, the study in question involved mice, not...

  • Growth of newborn babies' brains tracked

    "Scans chart how quickly babies' brains grow," reports BBC News Online.

    The headline follows a fascinating study that shows newborn babies' brains are about a third the size of an adult's at birth, and rapidly grow to just over half the size of an adult's within three months.

    The study involved 87 healthy babies who...

  • Toothbrushing advice 'conflicting'

    "Teeth-brushing advice unacceptably inconsistent," reports The Guardian, while the Mail Online states that a "simple, gentle scrub is best".

    These headlines relate to a small literature review that found diversity in the methods of manual toothbrushing recommended by dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush...

  • Exercise may cut breast cancer risk, study finds

    "Exercise lowers risk of breast cancer after menopause," reports The Independent. This and similar headlines were sparked by a large study of postmenopausal teachers that found increased recreational activity was associated with a 10% decrease in the risk of breast cancer.

    The risk reduction eroded among some women who became...

  • 'Safe' stem cell therapy may help stroke recovery

    BBC Online today reports that "Stem cells show promise in stroke recovery".

    This accurate headline comes from a study showing how a new technique using a patient's own stem cells to aid recovery from severe ischaemic stoke is feasible and appears to be safe.

    But the study was tiny – just five people had the treatment...

  • Restaurant dining 'as calorific as fast food'

    "Eating in restaurants no better than fast food for health," reports The Daily Telegraph after the publication of a study on the calorie intake of eating out.

    The US study found people who enjoyed dining at a full-service restaurant consumed just as many calories as those who ate fast food.

    Researchers looked at the...

  • Restaurant dining 'as calorific as fast food'

    "Eating in restaurants no better than fast food for health," reports The Daily Telegraph after the publication of a study on the calorie intake of eating out.

    The US study found people who enjoyed dining at a full-service restaurant consumed just as many calories as those who ate fast food.

    Researchers looked at the...

  • Dieting leaves some people 'feeling depressed'

    "It's official; dieting does make us depressed," laments the Mail Online, following the publication of a study on how losing weight affects a person’s mood.

    A study of 1,979 overweight and obese people found that those who lost 5% of their bodyweight were nearly twice as likely to feel some symptoms of depression, compared...

  • Dieting leaves some people 'feeling depressed'

    "It's official; dieting does make us depressed," laments the Mail Online, following the publication of a study on how losing weight affects a person’s mood.

    A study of 1,979 overweight and obese people found that those who lost 5% of their bodyweight were nearly twice as likely to feel some symptoms of depression, compared...

  • Lack of vitamin D may 'raise dementia risk'

    People lacking in vitamin D have a higher risk of developing dementia report several media outlets, including BBC News and The Independent.

    A study found people severely lacking in the sunshine vitamin were twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease compared with people with healthy levels (50nmol/l or more).

    ...

  • Lack of vitamin D may 'raise dementia risk'

    People lacking in vitamin D have a higher risk of developing dementia report several media outlets, including BBC News and The Independent.

    A study found people severely lacking in the sunshine vitamin were twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease compared with people with healthy levels (50nmol/l or more).

    ...

  • Salt content in cheese 'too high', say campaigners

    "Halloumi and blue cheese saltier than seawater,” reports The Daily Telegraph, following the publication of research on the salt content of cheeses sold in the UK.

    Researchers looked at 612 supermarket cheeses and found that salt levels were high. They also found a wide variation in salt content within the same types of cheese...

  • Salt content in cheese 'too high', say campaigners

    "Halloumi and blue cheese saltier than seawater,” reports The Daily Telegraph, following the publication of research on the salt content of cheeses sold in the UK.

    Researchers looked at 612 supermarket cheeses and found that salt levels were high. They also found a wide variation in salt content within the same types of cheese...

  • Saturated fat in dairy 'may protect against diabetes'

    Saturated fat in cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products may protect against diabetes, report the Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

    A study has found that people with higher levels of the types of saturated fatty acid found in dairy products were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

    Saturated fat – ...

  • Saturated fat in dairy 'may protect against diabetes'

    Saturated fat in cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products may protect against diabetes, report the Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

    A study has found that people with higher levels of the types of saturated fatty acid found in dairy products were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

    Saturated fat – ...

  • Daily aspirin 'reduces cancer risk,' study finds

    Taking aspirin every day could cut your risk of developing cancer, report BBC News and The Daily Telegraph among other news outlets, after the publication of a large-scale review of the evidence.

    People aged between 50 and 65 who take aspirin every day for 10 years could cut their risk of bowel cancer by 30% and cancers of the throat...

  • Daily aspirin 'reduces cancer risk', study finds

    Taking aspirin every day could cut your risk of developing cancer, report BBC News and The Daily Telegraph among other news outlets, after the publication of a large-scale review of the evidence.

    People aged between 50 and 65 who take aspirin every day for 10 years could cut their risk of bowel cancer by 30% and cancers of the throat...

  • Steep rise in antibiotic use for coughs and colds

    GPs are still giving out antibiotics to treat coughs and colds, the Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph and BBC News report, as a study reveals efforts to curb antibiotic use has had "mixed success".

    The study found the proportion of people with coughs and colds given antibiotics rose from 36% in 1999 to 51% in 2011: an increase...

  • Steep rise in antibiotic use for coughs and colds

    GPs are still giving out antibiotics to treat coughs and colds, the Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph and BBC News report, as a study reveals efforts to curb antibiotic use has had "mixed success".

    The study found the proportion of people with coughs and colds given antibiotics rose from 36% in 1999 to 51% in 2011: an increase...

  • Could HIV drugs help treat multiple sclerosis?

    "Could MS patients be treated with HIV drugs?" ask the Mail Online and The Independent, after a new study discovered people with HIV were almost two-thirds less likely (62%) to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who did not have the virus.

    The study was prompted by the case of a patient who had HIV and MS, but stayed...

  • Could HIV drugs help treat multiple sclerosis?

    "Could MS patients be treated with HIV drugs?" ask the Mail Online and The Independent, after a new study discovered people with HIV were almost two-thirds less likely (62%) to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who did not have the virus.

    The study was prompted by the case of a patient who had HIV and MS, but...

  • Phone consultations do not reduce GP workload

    Over-the-phone medical consultations “don’t cut the pressure” on busy GP surgeries, BBC News and The Daily Telegraph report.

    They were reporting the findings of a two-year study into the effectiveness of phone consultations with a GP or a nurse instead of face-to-face appointments.

    Telephone consultations, or triage, are...

  • Phone consultations do not reduce GP workload

    Over-the-phone medical consultations “don’t cut the pressure” on busy GP surgeries, BBC News and The Daily Telegraph report.

    They were reporting the findings of a two-year study into the effectiveness of phone consultations with a GP or a nurse instead of face-to-face appointments.

    Telephone consultations, or triage, are...

  • Video games 'beneficial' for children

    Children who play video games for up to an hour a day are more sociable, happy and less hyperactive, The Telegraph and Daily Mail report after the publication of a study on the links between gaming and behaviour.

    The study involved around 5,000 young people aged 10 to 15 who were asked to report their use of computer games, as well as...

  • Video games 'beneficial' for children

    Children who play video games for up to an hour a day are more sociable, happy and less hyperactive, The Telegraph and Daily Mail report after the publication of a study on the links between gaming and behaviour.

    The study involved around 5,000 young people aged 10 to 15 who were asked to report their use of computer games, as well as...

  • Contraceptive pills may double breast cancer risk

    "Some contraceptive pills double risk of breast cancer," The Daily Telegraph reports, as a new US study found an increased risk of 50% with use of the combined oral contraceptive pill, commonly called "the pill".

    The combined pill contains oestrogen and, as it is known oestrogen can stimulate breast cancer cells to...

  • Study probes effect of NHS Health Checks

    "Health MOTs routinely offered to over-40s on the NHS may be a waste of time," the Mail Online reports.

    The report says researchers have found no difference in the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes in GP practices that offer NHS Health Checks and those that don't.

    ...

  • Warning over waistline link to type 2 diabetes

    “Belly fat clearest sign of type 2 diabetes risk,” The Guardian reports. This comes as Public Health England publishes a report highlighting the links between bulging waistlines, obesity and type 2 diabetes risk.

    According to a new report, men whose waist size is over 102cm (40.2 inches) are five times more likely to develop diabetes...

  • Could a blood test screen for suicide risk?

    "People with certain gene mutation 'may be more likely to end their life'," reports the Mail Online. A postmortem study found a gene called SKA2 was less active in the brains of people with mental illness who had committed suicide.

    They also found...

  • Ebola virus threat to the UK is 'very low'

    Health news has been dominated in recent days by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in west Africa, with more than 1,200 confirmed cases and 672 deaths.

    Cases have been confirmed in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The World Health Organization estimates the current outbreak has a mortality rate of 56%.

    It is important to note...

  • 'Morning sickness' linked to healthier babies

    “Morning sickness isn't all bad news: Women battling the condition may have 'healthier, more intelligent babies’,” the Mail Online reports.

    The news is based on the results of a systematic review that looked at the effects of “morning sickness”. Health professionals prefer the term “...

  • Eating more than 5 a day 'brings no extra benefit'

    "Eating more than five a day has 'no extra health benefit'," reports The Independent. The paper reports on a review that combined the results of previous research looking at the effect of increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables people eat.

    One of the things they specifically wanted to look at was whether there is a...

  • Tiny area of the brain linked to fear of the future

    "Pea-sized brain hub could shed light on depression," BBC News reports. UK scientists think they have identified part of the brain responsible for feelings of foreboding. This part of the brain, called the habenula, may also be associated with depression.

    The headline is based on a small study that used brain scans to look...

  • Running 7 minutes a day 'halves heart death risk'

    "Running for just a few minutes each day can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease," The Guardian reports.

    Ultimately, you can't outrun the Grim Reaper. But this news accurately reflects the results of a large long-term US study on health outcomes.

    And unlike yesterday's superficially similar ...

  • Over-60s 'benefit from bursts of intense exercise'

    "Two minute of exercise … is enough to boost pensioners' health," the Daily Mirror reports. A pilot study into high intensity training suggests it may be an effective method of combating the effects of ageing.

    However, the UK media are guilty of hyping the implications of a small study, involving just 12 people, which...

  • Should donor blood be screened for hepatitis E?

    "One in almost every 3,000 blood donors in England could be infected with hepatitis E, according to a new study," The Times reports.

    Hepatitis E normally causes only a mild infection that usually clears up without the need for treatment. It can occasionally lead to more serious complications in more vulnerable groups, such...

  • Study links shift work to increased risk of diabetes

    “Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts, a large international study suggests,” BBC News reports.

    The BBC reports on a review that searched the literature and found 12 studies including more than 225,000 people which looked at the link between shift work and diabetes.

    When pooling the results the researchers...

  • TV and gaming after work 'leads to feelings of guilt'

    “Watching TV after work makes you feel ‘guilty and like a failure’,” says The Independent, citing a study looking at the concept of “ego depletion”.

    Ego depletion is the idea that after a gruelling task your levels of self-control become drained. So after a hard day’s work, instead of going to the gym as you promised yourself, you...

  • Deadly MERS 'camel flu' may now be airborne

    “Deadly Mers virus 'could now be airborne',” The Independent reports. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which has an estimated case fatality rate of 30%, has been detected in an air sample in a camel barn in Saudi Arabia. This raises the possibility the virus could be spread through the air in the same way as flu.

    ...

  • Paracetamol 'doesn't work' for lower back pain

    “Paracetamol used to treat acute lower back pain is no better than a dummy pill,” BBC News reports. A well-conducted trial casts doubts on the widespread recommendation that paracetamol is an effective treatment for...

  • Sleep deprivation may affect memory

    The Mail Online states that “just one bad night’s sleep can have a dramatic effect on your memory – even leading to false memories”.

    Though the results of this small experimental study involving US students are interesting, they're far from dramatic.

    Researchers were interested in investigating whether sleep deprivation has...

  • Umami flavouring 'may help you feel fuller faster'

    "Always hungry? You need more umami in your life: study finds so-called 'fifth taste' in sauces and meat helps us feel satisfied," reports the Mail Online.

    Umami is a Japanese term that roughly translates as "pleasant savoury taste" and has been described as the fifth taste, the other four being sweet, sour, bitter...

  • Study offers insight into genetics of schizophrenia

    "More than 100 schizophrenia genes have been pinpointed," reports the Daily Mail. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers have gained further insights into the genetics of the condition, which it is hoped could lead to new treatments.

    Researchers have identified genetic differences at 108 positions in the...

  • Probiotics 'may improve blood pressure'

    “Eating probiotics may lower blood pressure,” The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Probiotics, so-called “friendly bacteria”, have been found to moderately reduce blood pressure in a new study.

    The study is what is known as a systematic review, which is...

  • Worry over effectiveness of early HIV drugs

    "Early HIV drugs 'may not stop virus'," BBC News reports. The report is based on a study of HIV treatments in monkeys, and has been linked by the BBC to the emergence of HIV in a four-year-old girl thought to have been cured of the virus as the result of treatment from birth – the so-called "Mississippi girl".

    HIV...

  • Could new potential treatment mean safer IVF?

    “Dozen babies born using 'safer' IVF treatment,” reads today’s headline in The Independent.

    This headline was based on a new study providing proof of concept that the natural hormone kisspeptin-54 could be used to stimulate egg maturation in women requiring in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

    The modified IVF treatment on trial,...

  • Obese women may have 'food learning impairment'

    "Obese women show signs of food learning impairment," is the headline on the BBC News website.

    It reports on a behavioural study involving 67 individuals of normal weight and 68 obese individuals.

    Each participant was shown a series of either...

  • 'More adults should be taking statins,' says NICE

    "Doctors have been told to offer cholesterol-lowering statins to millions more people," BBC News reports.

    New guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend lowering the bar for statin use in adults at risk...

  • Steroid asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

    “Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication,” The Guardian reports. While this is an accurate report of the science, the effect found by researchers was small. On average, a reduction of around half a centimetre per year was seen, compared to children taking a...

  • Protein may help control diabetes symptoms

    "Diabetes could be cured 'in single jab'," is the misleading headline in the Daily Express. The news comes from an exciting new mouse study which found promising results for a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

    However, the study did not show that...

  • Owning a dog may make older adults fitter

    “Want to appear 10 years younger? Just buy a dog,” is the dubious claim on the Mail Online.

    A study has found a link between dog ownership and increased physical activity in older adults, but how this is linked to looking younger is unclear.

    Contrary to the headline, the study did not measure or mention physical appearance....

  • Prediabetes label unhelpful, experts argue

    “Pre-diabetes label ‘worthless’, researchers claim,” reports the BBC.

    The headline is based on an opinion piece published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) by John Yudkin and Victor Montori, both of whom are professors of medicine.

    They argue that diagnosing people with “prediabetes” puts people at risk of unnecessary...

  • Study explores effect of plain cigarette packs

    "Long-term smokers find the taste of plain-packaged cigarettes worse than that of branded cigarettes," The Guardian reports.

    The news comes from Australian research into the impact of plain packaging and health risk warnings on packets of cigarettes and anti-smoking TV adverts.

    The researchers found highly emotive...

  • Spoons lead to inaccurate medicine doses for kids

    “Using a spoon to measure medicine for children can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes,” the Daily Mail reports.

    Parents have long been instructed to provide liquid medication to their children in dosages measured using teaspoons and tablespoons. The rationale behind the advice is that this provides a quick and easy way for...

  • Sex addiction affects brain in 'same way as drugs'

    “Is compulsive sexual behaviour comparable to drug addiction?” asked The Guardian today.

    This and other related headlines came from a UK study that looked at brain scans of 19 men with compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB) while they watched either sexually explicit, erotic or non-sexual videos.

    CSB is a not a well-established...

  • 'Exercise may help prevent Alzheimer's disease'

    "Cut Alzheimer's risk by walking," the Daily Mail recommends. This advice is prompted by a statistical modelling study looking at population attributable risks (PARS) – factors known to influence the prevalence of a disease, such as Alzheimer's, ...

  • Offer weight loss surgery to diabetics, says NICE

    "An expansion of weight loss surgery in England is being proposed to tackle an epidemic of type 2 diabetes," BBC News reports. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended obese people with ...

  • Vasectomy-associated prostate cancer risk 'small'

    “Men who have the snip increase their risk of suffering fatal prostate cancer, according to research,” the Daily Mail reports. However, while the increase in risk was found to be statistically significant, it was small in absolute terms.

    The newspaper reports on a US study that followed 49,405 men over 24 years, a quarter of whom had...

  • Obesity link for siblings

    “Children are five times more likely to become obese if their older brother or sister is overweight,” reports the Daily Mail.

    There is a widespread assumption that a significant risk factor for child obesity is if they have one or both parents who are obese....

  • Malaria parasites can 'hide' inside bone marrow

    “Malaria parasites can hide inside the bone marrow and evade the body's defences, research confirms,” BBC News report.

    It is hoped that this insight into the activities of the parasites could lead to new treatments.

    While most people associate malaria...

  • Call to tackle maternal blood infection risk

    “Pregnant women and new mothers need closer attention for signs of potentially fatal sepsis, a study says,” reports BBC News.

    While still rare, sepsis – a blood infection – is now the leading cause of maternal death in the UK.

    Sepsis can...

  • Cycling linked to prostate cancer, but not infertility

    "Men who cycle more than nine hours a week are … more likely to develop prostate cancer," the Mail Online inaccurately reports. The story comes from the publication of an online survey into cycling in the UK and its effects on health outcomes.

    Researchers were particularly interested in whether frequent cycling was linked...

  • Gene mutation linked to distinct type of autism

    “Have scientists found the autism gene?" asks the Mail Online.

    The news is based on a genetic study that found children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have a mutation in a gene called CHD8 than children without...

  • Blood test for Alzheimer’s 'no better than coin toss'

    “Research in more than 1,000 people has identified a set of proteins in the blood which can predict the start of the dementia with 87% accuracy,” BBC News reports.

    The primary goal of the test was to predict whether people with mild cognitive impairments (usually age-related memory problems) would go on to develop “full-blown”...

  • Two-question test for alcohol misuse 'effective'

    “Do you regularly have more than six drinks in one sitting? Or do you regret a drunken escapade that took place in the past year? Answering yes to both questions may be a sign that you have a drink problem," the Mail Online reports.

    This comes...

  • Aggressive breast cancer protein discovered

    "A breakthrough by scientists could lead to a new treatment for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer," the Mail Online reports. Researchers have identified a protein called integrin αvβ6, which may help trigger the spread of some types of breast cancer.

    Up to a third of ...

  • Children’s TV contains unhealthy 'food cues'

    “Children are being bombarded with scenes of unhealthy eating on TV,” The Independent reports. Researchers looking at public broadcasting in the UK and Ireland have found that children’s TV contains a high number of visual and verbal references to unhealthy foods.

    In the UK, direct TV advertising of unhealthy food to children has been...

  • Headbanging could damage your (Motör)head

    “German doctors are highlighting the dangers of headbanging after a 50-year-old man developed bleeding in the brain following a Motörhead concert,” BBC News reports.

    The news is based on a case report in The Lancet about a man who developed a subdural haematoma.

    A ...

  • Lab-grown corneas could prevent blindness

     

    “Scientists regrow corneas in breakthrough that could pave the way for a cure for blindness,” reports the Mail Online.

    Researchers in the US have found a way to identify the stem cells that renew the cornea (the clear layer that covers the front of the eye), and have used them to grow normal corneas in mice.

    These...

  • Tests can predict teens most likely to binge drink

    “A single glass of wine or beer at the age of 14 can help a young teenager along the path to binge drinking,” the Daily Mail warns.

    But having a single drink does not mean a child is bound to become a “binge boozer”. That is just one of around 40 factors researchers have identified which they claim can be used to predict whether a...

  • Frozen testicle tissue produces mice offspring

    “A sample of frozen testicle has been used to produce live offspring in experiments on mice,” BBC News reports. 

    While this may seem like a strange study to conduct, the aim is to preserve the fertility of boys affected by childhood cancers such as...

  • Parents of autistic kids 'have autistic traits too'

    "Parents of children with autism are more likely to have autistic traits," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from research comparing the families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with those that are unaffected.

    ...

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