Critical aspects in the legal defence of patients with Tourette's Syndrome: An Italian case series

Mauro Porta, Domenico Servello, Bernardo Dell'Osso, Carlotta Zanaboni Dina, Alberto Bona, Guido Carlo Alleva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a developmental neurobehavioral disorder with childhood onset and relevant burden in terms of disability and reduced quality of life. In Italy the biological basis of this syndrome is still frequently ignored and TS is often recognised as a psychiatric manifestation, or even it is not recognised as pathology, which may result in inadequate treatment, social isolation and improper hospitalization. Indeed, the organic medical nature of TS needs to be taken into great consideration in evaluating causality of committing crimes in affected patients. In addition, delaying the diagnosis and consequently proper treatment has a devastating impact on social as well as legal aspects in patients with TS. The present report is aimed to present an Italian case series of 4 TS patients who faced legal problems related to their mental condition, in the intent to add further evidence, raise the level of awareness and encourage further investigation in the field, as in most of the cases, patients’ illness was not taken into adequate account by the Justice. The relevant law is discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Legal Defence
  • Tourette syndrome - social impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Critical aspects in the legal defence of patients with Tourette's Syndrome: An Italian case series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this