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Schizophr Res. 2004 Jan 1;66(1):7-20.

Schizophrenia and season of birth: relationship to geomagnetic storms.

Author information

1
Ross University School of Medicine, Portsmouth Campus, Roseau, Dominica. rkay@rossmed.edu.dm

Abstract

An excess pattern of winter and spring birth, of those later diagnosed as schizophrenic, has been clearly identified in most Northern Hemisphere samples with none or lesser variation in Equatorial or Southern Hemisphere samples. Pregnancy and birth complications, seasonal variations in light, weather, temperature, nutrition, toxins, body chemistry and gene expression have all been hypothesized as possible causes. In this study, the hypothesis was tested that seasonal variation in the geomagnetic field of the earth primarily as a result of geomagnetic storms (GMS) at crucial periods in intrauterine brain development, during months 2 to 7 of gestation could affect the later rate of development of schizophrenia. The biological plausibility of this hypothesis is also briefly reviewed. A sample of eight representative published studies of schizophrenic monthly birth variation were compared with averaged geomagnetic disturbance using two global indices (AA*) and (aa). Three samples showed a significant negative correlation to both geomagnetic indices, a further three a significant negative correlation to one of the geomagnetic indices, one showed no significant correlation to either index and one showed a significant positive correlation to one index. It is suggested that these findings are all consistent with the hypothesis and that geomagnetic disturbance or factors associated with this disturbance should be further investigated in birth seasonality studies.

PMID:
14693348
DOI:
10.1016/s0920-9964(02)00495-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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