Around 400 so-called “apathetic children” have been treated here for the disorder, where they refuse to move, talk, drink or eat. Earlier this month the Swedish parliament rejected a plea to grant them automatic asylum. Officials say they lack evidence the condition is real, and no cases have been reported from other European countries.
But the researchers have ruled out that the children are faking their condition.
The new study, presented by Associate Professor Nader Ahmadi, reveals that most children suffering from the condition come from the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.