Produced by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Behind The Medical Headlines aims to provide the public and health professionals with equitable access to authoritative and independent commentaries from leading medical experts on articles or news items which appear in the media in an attempt to reduce the confusion which can often arise from conflicting, incomplete or misleading media reports of medical areas. Published articles cover a diverse range of areas and are intended to provide a longer term overview rather than an instant response.

Latest articles

Umbilical cord-derived stem cell transplants – what’s changed in three years?

Stem cells in a rack |

In a follow-up to his article on umbilical cord-derived stem cell transplants, Dr John Davies reviews the latest research in this exciting field. Read…

Alcohol-related illness in the hospital

Waiting room in emergency department |

Alcohol-related illness is a major problem in Scotland. Currently, its treatment in hospital is under-resourced, and patients are scattered around different departments. Dr Stuart Hislop examines how Scotland’s health service can be adapted and redesigned to improve care for patients with alcohol-related illnesses and minimise the disruption they cause in hospitals. Read…

Liver transplants: Live donor liver transplantation

Surgeon's scalpel | ©

Live donor liver transplants are a vital addition to cadaveric (after death) liver transplants. Such transplants are not without controversy, however: the risks are greater for live liver donors than live kidney donors, for example, and some argue that more effort should be put into maximising the use of cadaveric donations. Professor Krishnakumar Madhavan examines the issues surrounding live donor liver transplants. Read…

Liver transplants: Liver donations in the UK

Liver | © Kaulitzki

The discrepancy between organ supply and demand is the greatest problem facing liver transplantation today. One of the biggest frustrations for the transplant community is the contrast between the general public’s stated enthusiasm for the concept of organ donation and the reality of the low actual organ donation rate in the UK. As part of our series of articles on liver transplantation, Dr Andrew Bathgate looks at the current situation regarding liver donations in the UK. Read…

Advances in the treatment of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Human genome view with a focus on PARK9 - one of the genes linked to Parkinson's disease. | ©

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative condition that damages central nervous system pathways. There is no known cure, and no existing therapy has been proven to slow or reverse progress of the disease. Treatment aims to alleviate symptoms and preserve functional independence while minimising adverse affects. In this article Dr Christopher Turnbull and Dr Paul Fitzsimmons provide an overview of treatments for the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Read…