Friday, June 24, 2005

is there a biologic basis to astrologic profiles?

season of birth impacts early pattern of day-length variation. someone born in the spring experiences increasing day-length as the first experience. someone born in the fall experiences decreasing day-length as the first experience. turns out that this early experience can leave a permanent behavioral imprint on the individual. day-length variation is a significant parameter measured by virtually all species as a way to allocate life-history functions appropriately (mating, reproduction, foraging, etc). this function is regulated by many factors including thermal centers n the hypothalamus and melatonin. interestingly, melatonin dysfunctions have been linked to many behavioral disorders including autisms and schizophrenia. there is emerging interest in correlating season of birth with later development of behavioral disorders. if behavioral patterns are influenced by season of birth, could this help account for the astrological profiles? selected references are noted below.

Neuropsychobiology. 2005;51(2):93-9. Epub 2005 Feb 28. Season of birth in Danish children with language disorder born in the 1958-1976period.Hauschild KM, Mouridsen SE, Nielsen S.Borkop, Copenhagen, Denmark.Two preliminary studies have indicated a variation in season of birth inseverely language-disordered children. In the current study, the season of birthin 472 Danish children with language disorder born between 1958 and 1976 wascompared with the season of birth of all Danish live-born children in the sameperiod. For some part of the period (1964-1969), an excess of boys born inNovember was found. Particular attention was given to the inconsistent findingsalso found in language-related disorders like infantile autism and dyslexia andthe choice of statistical method to determine seasonality. Copyright 2005 S.Karger AG, Basel.

Schizophr Res. 2005 Feb 1;73(1):39-48. Explaining variation in the premorbid adjustment of schizophrenia patients: therole of season of birth and family history.St-Hilaire A, Holowka D, Cunningham H, Champagne F, Pukall M, King S.Kent State University, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242,USA.Several studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia are more likely tobe born in the winter and early spring than at any other time of the year.Furthermore, some studies have reported that winter-born patients differ fromnon-winter-born patients in terms of risk factors, symptoms, sensoryabnormalities and brain morphology. Associations between season of birth andpremorbid adjustment (PMA), however, are still unclear. OBJECTIVE: The mainpurpose of this study was to determine whether winter-born and non-winter-bornschizophrenia patients differ in terms of PMA and to examine how family historyof schizophrenia-spectrum disorders may influence the association. METHOD: Dataon four PMA dimensions (attention, internalizing, externalizing and socialproblems) and family history were gathered from 37 schizophrenia patients (26males and 11 females) and their mothers. RESULTS: Non-winter-birth and apositive family history of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders were associated withworse PMA. Results suggest that, although no significant interaction was found,season of birth and family history appear to work together in explainingdistinct dimensions of PMA.

Neuropsychobiology. 2002;46(4):209-14. Further results on the association between morningness-eveningness preferenceand the season of birth in human adults.Natale V, Adan A, Chotai J.Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.Morningness-eveningness preference by the self-rated Morningness-EveningnessQuestionnaire (MEQ) has earlier been shown to be associated with the subjects'season of birth. Here, we obtain this result for a new sample of 2,125university students and for the sample obtained by pooling the data with theearlier study, yielding totally 3,709 Italian and Spanish subjects. An nonlinearregression of MEQ as a cosine curve according to the month of birth, adjustingfor age and gender, gave a maximum (morningness) around the transition betweenthe birth months December and January, and a minimum (eveningness) around thetransition between the birth months June and July. Multiple logistic regressionsshowed that for females as well as for males, the group born during thehalf-year April to September containing summer had a significantly lowerproportion of morning types as compared with the group born during the half-yearOctober to March containing winter. This was more pronounced for males.Moreover, a significantly higher proportion of morning types among femalescompared with males was found only in the group born during April to September,but not in the group born during October to March. There was a weak butstatistically significant positive correlation between MEQ and age in thesample's limited age range of 17-30 years. We discuss the results in terms ofthe mutually inhibitory systems of melatonin and dopamine, and find furthersupport for a hypothesis that it is the variation in the length of photoperiodduring the gestational or perinatal period that contributes significantly to theseason of birth variation found in the morningness-eveningness preference amongadults. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

Psychiatry Res. 2002 Aug 5;111(1):45-54. The Temperament Scale of Novelty Seeking in adolescents shows an associationwith season of birth opposite to that in adults.Chotai J, Jonasson M, Hagglof B, Adolfsson R.Division of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Umea,SE-901 85, Umea, Sweden. investigated the relationship between season of birth and the JuniorTemperament and Character Inventory of Personality (Junior TCI, JTCI) inadolescents. The Temperament Scale of Novelty Seeking (NS) is significantlyhigher for females born during October-January as compared to females bornotherwise. This association is opposite to that obtained earlier for adults. Forboth genders pooled, NS is significantly higher for those born duringOctober-March compared to April-September. This association is also found whenexamining the data for those of age up to 18 years in a third independent studyon the age range 11-81 years with the adult TCI. There is a greater tendency forexploration and risk-taking behavior as the child individuates from the family.Our study suggests that the effects of such environmental and developmentalchanges on personality are different in those born during October-March ascompared to those born during April-September. The former show a higher rise inNS during adolescence and a steeper fall in NS during the years of adulthood,compared to the latter. Dopamine turnover is likely associated with NS, and themutually inhibitory systems of dopamine and melatonin are the paracrine signalsof day and night, respectively. Thus, the maternal entrainment of these systemsduring the prenatal period, or the postnatal environmental influence on thesesystems, may be different for those born during the short photoperiod ofOctober-March as compared to those born during the long photoperiod part of theyear.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2001 Apr;22(2):137-41. A study of light/dark rhythm of melatonin in relation to cortisol and prolactinsecretion in schizophrenia.Vigano D, Lissoni P, Rovelli F, Roselli MG, Malugani F, Gavazzeni C, Conti A,Maestroni G.Division of Psychiatry, S.Gerardo dei Tintori Hospital, 20052 Monza (Milan),Italy.OBJECTIVES: Recent studies have suggested the involvement of the pineal glandand its main hormone melatonin (MLT) in the pathogenesis of psychiatricdisturbances, namely the depressive syndrome. In contrast, the behavior of MLTsecretion in schizophrenia is still controversial. MATERIAL & METHODS: Thepresent study was carried out to analyze light/dark rhythm of MLT secretion inrelation to that of cortisol and prolactin (PRL) in schizophrenic patients. Thestudy included 13 schizophrenic patients, 8 of whom were untreated, while theother 5 patients were on neuroleptic therapy. Serum levels of MLT, PRL andcortisol were measured by RIA on venous blood samples collected at 8 A.M., 12A.M., 8 P.M. and 1 A.M. The control group consisted of 20 age-matched healthysubjects. RESULTS: A physiological nocturnal increase in MLT levels occurred in6/13 patients, whereas the other 7 patients showed an abnormally low MLT peakduring the night. Moreover, both light and night mean levels of MLT weresignificantly lower in patients than in controls. In addition, mean nocturnallevels of MLT were significantly lower in chronic patients than in thoseevaluated at the onset of disease. Cortisol rhythm was normal in 11/13 patients,whereas PRL levels were abnormally high in 10/13 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Thispreliminary study would suggest that schizophrenia may be associated with adiminished secretion of MLT from the pineal gland, and pineal deficiency wouldbe more evident in the chronic disease. Finally, pineal alterations haveappeared to be associated with an altered secretion of PRL and cortisol, bysuggesting that the schizophrenic disease may be characterized by markedneuroendocrine disturbances, whose physio-pathological and prognosticsignificance needs to be established by successive clinical investigations.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2000;21(1):31-34. Evidence of pineal endocrine hypofunction in autistic children.Kulman G, Lissoni P, Rovelli F, Roselli MG, Brivio F, Sequeri P.Division of Infant Neuropsychiatry, S.Gerardo Hospital, Monza (Milan), Italy.OBJECTIVE: The pineal hormone melatonin (MLT) has been proven to play afundamental physiological regulatory role on both biological and psychicfunctions and alterations of the light/dark circadian rhythm of MLT have beendescribed in several chronic immunoinflammatory diseases and in psychicdisorders. Aim of the present biological explanatory study was the evaluation ofMLT circadian rhythm in autistic children, in order to preliminary assess thepineal endocrine function in the autistic syndrome. METHODS: The study included14 children suffering from classical infantile autism, who were investigated forthe whole 24-hour circadian rhythm by collecting venous blood samples at 4-hourintervals. Serum levels of MLT were measured by the RIA method. The controlgroup consisted of 20 age-matched healthy children. RESULTS: No autistic patientshowed a normal MLT circadian rhythm. Moreover, autistic children showedsignificantly lower mean concentrations of MLT, mainly during the dark phase ofthe day, with respect to the values observed in the controls. CONCLUSION: Theresults of this preliminary study suggest the existence of a pineal endocrinehypofunction in autistic children, whose pathophysiological significance needsto be thoroughly investigated in successive clinical studies.


Post a Comment

<< Home