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Babies' Birth Month May Affect MS Risk: Study
Date:4/8/2013

university news release.

"Higher levels of autoreactive T-cells, which have the ability to turn [against] the body, could explain why babies born in May are at a higher risk of developing MS," he added.

Because vitamin D is formed when skin is exposed to sunlight, the birth-month effect is viewed as evidence that vitamin D levels during pregnancy play a role in MS risk, the study authors said in the news release.

"The correlation with vitamin D suggests this could be the driver of this effect," said Ramagopalan. "There is a need for long-term studies to assess the effect of vitamin D supplementation in pregnant women and the subsequent impact on immune system development and risk of MS and other autoimmune diseases."

The study uncovered an association linking birth month to vitamin D levels and MS risk. It did not prove cause-and-effect.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about multiple sclerosis.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Queen Mary, University of London, news release, April 8, 2013


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