Babies born during spring and summer may be more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) than those born in winter, researchers from the University of Bologna have claimed.

The scientists believe the findings, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, may be due to how the body responds to natural light during the first few months of life.

The study looked at more than 1,500 youngsters aged between 10 and 17. The scientists created a questionnaire that measured changes in seasonal moods. The results of the survey were then cross-referenced with participants' birth dates.  The results revealed that those born in summer were more sensitive to seasonal change than those born in winter.

The scientists said the results could help identify those most at risk of SAD. They said: "This could have implications for prevention, though the identification of indicators, such as birth season, which could increase the risk of developing a psychiatric disease."

Posted by Robert Mair on 9/2/2012