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Study examines links between Vitamin D, birth month and MS

According to a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology, the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) could be impacted by the month in which a child is born. MS is a neurological condition that causes the body's own immune system to attack the central nervous system.

MS can result in issues with memory, hearing, muscle control and vision. At this point, there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. Some forms of MS lead to separate attacks on the immune system while others result in symptoms accumulating over time. Treatments are aimed at returning function to the body after an attack, preventing new attacks and preventing disability.

According to the recent study, children born during the month of May face the highest risk of developing MS while children born during the month of November face a lower risk, and this is especially true among people living in England. The study also suggested that Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy could be effective in helping to prevent MS.

Another study published the journal Neurology last year suggested that Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy could also help prevent multiple sclerosis from occurring later on in mothers. Low levels of Vitamin D in expecting mothers have been linked to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and low birth weight in newborns.

The most recent study linked birth month and Vitamin D levels by suggesting that birth month can affect Vitamin D levels in mothers and babies. The authors of the study said more research is needed "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."

Source: Fox News, "Babies' immune system development influenced by birth month," April 9, 2013

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