Mood Disorder, Birth Season Link Examined

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The time of year in which someone is born may play a role in the risk of developing a mood disorder, according to a new study.

Xenia Gonad, PhD, of Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary and colleagues, said that prior biochemical research has demonstrated that the season of birth has a influence on neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. They set out to find whether this influence was long-term in nature.

They looked at more than 400 subjects and compared their birth season to personality types later in life.

Those born in the summer had much higher rates of cyclothymic temperament, which is associated with frequent swings between happy and sad moods, compared to those born in winter, the researchers reported in a paper being presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress in Berlin, Germany.

People born in the spring and summer tended to have higher hyperthymic temperament, which is characterized by being overly positive. And those born in the winter were less likely to be irritable compared to those born during other times of the year.

“We can't yet say anything about the mechanisms involved,” Gonda said, according to “What we are now looking at is to see if there are genetic markers which are related to season of birth and mood disorder.”

People born in summer months tended to have more swings between happy and sad moods compared to those born other times of the year.

Parental Mood Disorders Can Influence Children's Psychopathology
Mood Disorders May Be Influenced by Birth Season

New research shows that the season you are born has a significant impact on your risk of developing mood disorders. People born at certain times of year may have a greater chance of developing certain types of affective temperaments, which in turn can lead to mood disorders (affective disorders).

Seasons of birth have traditionally been associated with certain personality traits, such as novelty seeking, and various folklore justifications, such as astrology, have sought to explain these associations. Now a group of researchers from Budapest, Hungary, are presenting a study which links birth season with temperament.

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