October babies are more likely to develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, while fewer sufferers are born in June. This was the conclusion drawn by a Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin study presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN).
Amsterdam, 26 June 2017 – Whether people develop Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an acute autoimmune disorder affecting the peripheral nerve system, appears to depend on their month of birth. This was the conclusion drawn by a Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin study presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Amsterdam. People who celebrate their birthday in October have a higher risk of developing GBS, as confirmed by a 27 per cent increase in development rates compared with the general population. Meanwhile, those born in June are much less likely to be represented among GBS patients, and have a 28 per cent lower likelihood of developing the disorder. Broken down by season, GBS patients were 16 per cent more likely to be born in the winter. “We also identified similar results when we looked at patients with acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) separately. However no associations were found between month of birth or season of birth and the severity of disease,” explained Dr Bogdan Bjelica of the Clinical Center of Serbia in Belgrade, who participated in the study.
Study group looked at the records of just under 450 patients from Serbia, Montenegro and Republic of Srpska between 2009 and 2015 and compared their month of birth against the general population. They discovered that people with GBS are more likely to be born in cold months. “We suspect that early developmental mechanisms such as exposure to different pathogens may play a role in increasing lifetime risk of the disease,” Dr Bjelica noted. To understand how different latitude may impact susceptibility for developing diseases, the experts are calling for further studies in larger cohorts and in different regions to be carried out. It is supposed that the month of birth plays a role in the likelihood of developing more than 50 diseases.
Source: 3rd EAN Congress Amsterdam 2017, Abstract Bjelica et al. Is month of birth associated with a risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome?
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