Neurologists Should Screen Patients for Abuse:
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Neurologists should
screen their patients for abuse by family members, caregivers or
other people, the American Academy of Neurology says in a new
Problems to look for include elder, sexual, child, financial and
emotional abuse; bullying, cyberbullying and violence.
Certain neurologic disorders, such as Parkinson's disease,
Alzheimer's disease or stroke, may raise the risk for abuse and
neglect, the academy said.
The statement outlines 10 principles for neurologists to use
when meeting with patients. These include integrating questions
about abuse into a patient's medical history and routinely checking
patients for past and ongoing violence.
The academy is also offering free training to members interested
in learning how to deal with domestic violence issues in their
"Neurologists see patients with neurologic disorders that may make them more susceptible to abuse or neglect. They also see patients with neurologic issues that may be either directly or indirectly related to mistreatment," statement lead author Dr. Elliott Schulman, of Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Penn., said in an academy news release.
More than 90 percent of all injuries caused by intimate partner
violence occur to the head, face or neck and can result in
traumatic brain injury, according to the statement.
It also noted that people with neurologic disorders such as
stroke, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease may be at
increased risk for abuse and neglect.
"By routinely asking about violence and abuse, the neurologist increases the opportunity for both identifying ongoing abuse and intervening when appropriate," Schulman said. "In addition to further physical and emotional harm, consequences of not asking about abuse might include failure of treatments and, when children are exposed to abuse, perpetuation of the cycle of abuse from generation to generation."
The statement appears Jan. 25 in the online issue of the journal
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