Babies born in Nov. have least chance of developing MS

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Babies born in Nov. have least chance of developing MS

Postby flora68 » Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:11 am

I came across an article from the UK, stating that, in terms of babies born in Canada and the UK, more babies born in May develop MS than those born in any other month. And that babies born in November are the least likely to develop MS.

Don't know if that would be true in the USA.

I also learned (from the MS Society of Scotland) that there are more cases of MS in Scotland per capita than in any other country. (Probably a lot of you already knew this, but I didn't.) Here's a link to the MS Society of Scotland, an interesting little website I'd never seen:
http://www.mssocietyscotland.org.uk/

Obviously we can't do anything about when and where we were born, but maybe these strange little puzzle pieces, along with others, will someday help reveal a clearer picture of the environmental causes of MS.

Article below from http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/hi/news/5033314.html

MAY BABIES ARE MORE PRONE TO MS

Babies born in May have an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis in later life, research suggested today.
The study, involving more than 11,500 patients in Britain and 17,800 in Canada, found that being born in November carried the lowest risk of MS in countries in the northern hemisphere.
The researchers, including a team from Oxford University, said they suspected that complex interactions between genes and the environment shortly before birth may explain the link between month of birth and MS risk.
They added: "The effect is greater in Scotland, where the prevalence of this disease is highest."
They said past studies suggested that exposure to the sun or seasonal variations in the mother's vitamin D level during pregnancy may have an impact on brain development.
The findings prompted calls for more research on the extent of MS in Scotland, which affects some 10,400 people.
Mark Hazelwood, director of MS Society Scotland, said the study added weight to an accepted view that something in the environment influenced the development of MS. Babies born in May have an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis in later life, research suggested today.
The study, involving more than 11,500 patients in Britain and 17,800 in Canada, found that being born in November carried the lowest risk of MS in countries in the northern hemisphere.
The researchers, including a team from Oxford University, said they suspected that complex interactions between genes and the environment shortly before birth may explain the link between month of birth and MS risk.
They added: "The effect is greater in Scotland, where the prevalence of this disease is highest."
They said past studies suggested that exposure to the sun or seasonal variations in the mother's vitamin D level during pregnancy may have an impact on brain development.
The findings prompted calls for more research on the extent of MS in Scotland, which affects some 10,400 people.
Mark Hazelwood, director of MS Society Scotland, said the study added weight to an accepted view that something in the environment influenced the development of MS.

Copyright © 2004 Newsquest (Herald & Times) Limited. All Rights Reserved
User avatar
flora68
Family Elder
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:00 pm

Advertisement

Postby LindaR » Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:29 am

I was born in September in CT and I have MS.
User avatar
LindaR
Family Member
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: USA - Connecticut

Postby bromley » Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:01 am

Difficult to see how this research helps those currently with the disease. I was born in March (with my twin sister who has not been diagnosed with MS). We can all blame our parents for conceiving us at the wrong time :( !

What use is it for future generations - will couples with ms, a family link with ms, try to all conceive at the start of the year. If only life were so straightforward.


Bromley
User avatar
bromley
Family Elder
 
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:00 pm

Postby Arron » Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:53 am

this story came up earlier this year (whether it was another study altogether is not clear, but it sure seems like there are better ways to spend research money...)

Anyways, we ran a poll and 62% of respondents were born in the four month period inclusive of May. This is rather useless information, though, since we also need to know what the trend is for the number of births in a given month. For example, if more people are born in May generally, than this is a pretty trivial finding

<shortened url>
Disclaimer: Any information you find on this site should not be considered medical advice. All decisions should be made with the consent of your doctor, otherwise you are at your own risk.
User avatar
Arron
Volunteer Moderator
 
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: California, USA

Postby JFH » Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:49 pm

A data set subject to bias certainly. Until not so long ago (20 yearsish) in the UK parents had a small tax advantage by having children as close as possible to the end of the Financial Year in April.
John
I am what I am
User avatar
JFH
Family Elder
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2004 2:00 pm
Location: England

Postby magpie » Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:12 am

This is an absolutely ridiculous study. Firstly, you can manipulate statistics to prove anything and secondly I was born in November and I've got MS.

Magpie
User avatar
magpie
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:00 pm
Location: England

Postby MacGyver » Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:57 am

magpie wrote:This is an absolutely ridiculous study. Firstly, you can manipulate statistics to prove anything and secondly I was born in November and I've got MS.


I don't really understand the critisism of this study and this kind of study. First of all the study described an increased MS risk for babies born in May compared to babies born in November. It doesn't say people born in November or any other month, don't get MS.

Secondly, it is a well known fact that MS relapses occur at an uneven frequency across the seasons. Other studies have shown links between vitamin D3 consumption/sunlight exposure and MS. So why not examine this trace further?

I also believe that this type of a statistical study is a very powerful tool in solving this puzzle. Probably cheap too, compared to laboratory research and clinical trials, and we don't have to wait 5 years for a result to pop out.

/MacGyver
Last edited by MacGyver on Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
MacGyver
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:00 pm

Seasonality

Postby flora68 » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:20 am

I didn't mean to waste your time or space with something that seems silly, irrelevant or ridiculous to some of you , it's just that MS is a puzzle that fascinates me, and I see stats like these as pieces of that puzzle. Maybe not the kind of puzzle pieces that make one shout "Eureka!" and throw a big party or call a press conference, but a piece is a piece is a piece, you know?

I'm sure that at least some of ya'll are aware of seasonality as a significant and much-studied factor in many disease states, both physical and mental, such as MS, schizophrenia, alcoholism, etc. Granted, it's controversial, and probably not a real big deal either way, but it's something that might someday help lead to something of actual significance.

I won't paste another article, but this link (to a really old article)touches on the subject of seasonality of onset of MS and of exacerbations.
http://www.albany.net/~tjc/seasonal.html

And other related links, not all with the same opinions:

<shortened url>

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=149400

http://www.canlyme.com/lymepschizo.html

http://www.stroke.ox.ac.uk/research/miscellaneous.htm

http://www.wako.ac.jp/~nonaka/Summary.html
User avatar
flora68
Family Elder
 
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:00 pm

Postby Arron » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:27 am

great post, Flora! And thank you for sharing, don't take the criticism of the article in the wrong way-- a stance that we have taken is to share ALL information we find useful to MS'ers, and this study falls perfectly in that area, so thank you again :)
Disclaimer: Any information you find on this site should not be considered medical advice. All decisions should be made with the consent of your doctor, otherwise you are at your own risk.
User avatar
Arron
Volunteer Moderator
 
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: California, USA

Postby magpie » Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:18 am

I wasn't criticizing you Flora. It's the study that I'm sceptical of, but you're right it may be a little part of the puzzle. I have to say though that I agree with Bromley's post.

MacGyver please don't patronize me, it was only a quip, I know that the chance is only decreased if you were born in November not that it is a guaranteed outcome, and I stand by what I said, that you can use statistics to prove anything you want, ask a Statistician!

Magpie
User avatar
magpie
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:00 pm
Location: England

Re: Seasonality

Postby dizzee » Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:45 am

hello flora, new to this forum lark but find it very refreshing to read an unsopnsored site and all that that brings with it.

the research is useless but I guess it provided a statistician work for a few extra months, probably brought their department a bit of extra funding. have you heard of the book ignobel prizes? stacked full of useless stuff being researched. well, I say useless but I seem to remember reading something about seasonality earlier in the year. it does have a use - gets/keeps MS in the public consciousness surely, a good thing?

'all publicity is good publicity' or something... someone once said
User avatar
dizzee
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: cambridge uk

also born in November...

Postby kspackrat » Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:31 pm

And I have MS. I was born in MO. My Mom's family came over from UK when she was 4yrs old, just to add to the info.
Monica
User avatar
kspackrat
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: KS

Postby Nick » Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:41 pm

Good day

I think the research by Ebers is of value. Vitamin D3, or more specifically its deficiency, is intrinsically related to MS. So much so that one could confidently state that MS is in essence a latent disease of vitamin D deficiency. The exact details of the relationship however are yet to be determined.

Quit possibly Ebers realises this and conducted this study likely because it is inexpensive to undertake and easy to conduct. The problem with vitamin D is that there is none to very little profit to be made in using it as a means of both managing active MS and preventing it before it occurs. Thus the possibility of a classic double blind study being utilised to evaluate it is reliant upon the non-profit MS societies to organise.

Ebers data gives seeming weak correlations yet I consider them strong considering post natal vitamin D levels can range dramatically based on lifestyle and latitude. Perhaps though pre natal vitamin D levels influence MS predisposition. Certainly if this were the case most prenant mothers would consider vitamin D just as critical as folic acid for their list of supplements.

The data to support the vitamin D-MS connection is much more evident. There is good reason to consider that Vitamin D levels can affect immune regulation in adults as seen below.

1. For instance this paper implies that vitamin D nutrition may have a notable immunomodulating effect on CNS inflammation, a conclusion also reached through experimental and immunological studies.

The graphic below from Embry, Vieth and Snowden demonstrates very well how circulating vitamin D3(25,hydroxyvitamin D3) and lesion activity vary with the time of year.

Image

Note that none of the serum levels of the subjects were over 100 nmol/L. Also said, in order to effectively minimize MS progression the serum vitamin D3 concentrations must be above 100 nmol/L.

This relationship of serum D3 content and proximity to the equator is demonstrated by studies measuring the internal D3 content of people through the world living at different latitudes. This study out of Calgary substantiates the state of D3 insufficiency (wrt to 100nmol/L) in Canada while this study out of southern Australia also documents serum D3 levels less than 100 nmol/L, albeit not nearly as much as in Calgary. Calgary is at 51 degrees latitude N while the city of Geelong is at 38 degrees south. It is not surprising that Calgary is situated in a region with the highest prevalence of MS in the world and Australia has a very low prevalence.

The variation of latitude and UVR/vitamin D content also affects Ebers study. Although the press coverage didn’t mention this vital aspect, the higher and lower probability months for MS diagnosis will vary according to latitude. Here in Calgary, Alberta Canada for instance, Ebers et al data suggest January(lowest vitamin D levels) is the worst month for developing MS and July (highest vitamin D levels) is the best.

2. This paper discusses how Hammond et al. (2000) recently documented that British and Irish immigrants to Queensland, Australia, situated at latitude 12-28 degrees, had a striking 75% reduction in their risk of developing MS when compared with that of their native countrymen. Importantly, this reduction affected both adult and child immigrants.

In summary, even seemingly innocuous studies like Ebers can serve to support greater theories and also to refine them. As mentioned by someone earlier, discoveries can be made in minute increments rather than in grandiose quantum leaps.

Cheers
Nick
User avatar
Nick
Family Elder
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:00 pm

Postby Arron » Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:48 pm

Outstanding post! What are your thoughts on the utility of Vitamin D supplementation after diagnosis?
Disclaimer: Any information you find on this site should not be considered medical advice. All decisions should be made with the consent of your doctor, otherwise you are at your own risk.
User avatar
Arron
Volunteer Moderator
 
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: California, USA

Postby kspackrat » Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:29 pm

Yes, please do share your thoughts about Vit. D and MS. Nick your post is full of great info, thanks for taking the time to share with us.
Monica
User avatar
kspackrat
Getting to Know You...
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:00 pm
Location: KS

Next

Return to General Discussion

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


Contact us | Terms of Service