Saturday, August 28, 2004

Doctors might soon ask, "What's your sign?"
By Erika Niedowski - The Baltimore Sun
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Governed by Neptune and symbolized by the fish. Compassionate, introspective, artistic. Often dreamy and impractical. May be prone to schizophrenia, epilepsy or bipolar disorder.

It may sound like some kind of new, madcap astrology, but several scientists are becoming convinced that our birth month may predispose us to particular diseases.

Studies have shown that schizophrenia is more common among those born in late winter or early spring. Multiple sclerosis is associated with births in April, May and June. And epilepsy occurs more frequently in those with birthdays from December to March.

Researchers compared the birth dates of 886 narcoleptics being treated at sleep clinics in Montpellier, France; Montreal, and California to those of more than 35 million people in the general population.

The distribution of births was strikingly uneven, with the number of narcoleptics born in March (11.9 percent) significantly exceeding the number expected in the general population (8.5 percent).

Conversely, researchers found a significant drop in the number of narcoleptics born in September (5.6 percent) compared with the number normally expected (8.7 percent).