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Study finds narcolepsy cases in China peak in early spring
Date:8/21/2011

rsity Chinese narcolepsy study cohort. A vaccination history was provided by 182 participants who developed narcolepsy after October 2009.

"Our findings show a seasonal variation in narcolepsy onset in a Chinese population, occurring most frequently in late spring and early summer," said Dr. Han. Analysis revealed that onset of narcolepsy was least frequent in November and occurred most often in April, with close to a 7-fold increase from lowest point to peak time.

Researchers also studied year-to-year variations, identifying 173 cases of narcolepsy following the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu pandemic which represented a 3-fold increase in the disorder. "The increase in narcolepsy incidence was unlikely caused by increased vaccination as only 6% of study narcolepsy participants reported receiving a vaccination against H1N1," noted Dr. Mignot. A five to seven month delay between the seasonal peak in flu and peak in the onset of narcolepsy was also observed.

"These findings are reminiscent of the encephalitis lethargica epidemic that followed the great Spanish influenza pandemic of 1917-1918. Not only narcolepsy, but also psychosis and Parkinson's disease may follow winter infections, and further research is needed in the area of autoimmune diseases of the brain," Dr. Mignot concluded.


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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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