How to diagnose abuse in children and women faster and faster

One of the great obstacles to fighting gender violence is that victims do not report cases of abuse, or that these cases must be proven. Now a simple blood test could suggest a case of gender violence, beyond bruises and other visible lesions.

It is what suggests, at least, a study prepared by researchers from the University of Seville.

The study is based on the fact that in a situation of extreme stress hormone levels are altered as cortisol, prolactin and oxytocin. "Even when the violence ceases they do not return to normal immediately," the study notes. Regarding the other hormones indicated, these experts determined that cortisol or prolactin levels are related to acute stress levels in individuals.

In addition, the hormone oxytocin may be the main responsible for the establishment and maintenance of social relations which, paradoxically, may favor the fact that these battered women have a lower capacity to respond to aggressions.

The study has been awarded as the 'Work of Higher Scientific-Technical Interest in the II Congress for the Study of Violence against Women'

So that those who do not have access to this kind of analysis, the smartphone is also becoming a great ally.

Child and brain abuse

Also the early detection in child abuse is a priority to avoid cerebral dysfunctions. A neuroimaging work by King's College London and the Foundation for Research and Teaching (FIDMAG) of the Hospital Sisters that has been published in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that such abuse produces abnormalities in the gray matter of the brain.

Actually, the work is a meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies (MBV) on child abuse.

Primary care pediatricians, nursing professionals and pediatric emergencies have a new protocol that aims to improve the early detection of child abuse, as well as coordination with social services. In the presence of one or more of the indicators that suggest the presence of child abuse, the healthcare professional must record it in the patient's medical history and interview parents and the allegedly abused child. A physical and psychological examination will be performed and, if necessary, complementary examinations will be indicated. Likewise, the family situation will be analyzed.