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Apathetic refugee children genuinely ill: study

Published söndag 29 april 2012 kl 14.37

Refugee children suffering from apathetic symptoms can now be diagnosed through blood tests, according to a new Swedish study.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University found the childrens’ blood contains several hormones related to long-term stress.

When the children recovered they no longer had the same level of the hormones in their bloodstream, reports newspaper Uppsala Nya Tidning.

“Our study is a small one but the result is still so clear that we can reject all claims that the children were faking their symptoms,” Professor Jonas Bergquist at Uppsala University told the newspaper.

“Changed levels of so-called steroid hormones is not something you can just simulate.”

The study was carried out on 11 children at Sachsska Children’s Hospital in Stockholm who had spent long periods bedridden without communicating with anyone. They had to be fed through tubes.

Several hundred apathetic refugee children sparked a controversy in Sweden in 2006 when a child psychologist claimed that their symptoms were faked.

There continues to be regular reports of refugee children arriving in Sweden with apathetic symptoms.

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