Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Self-injurious behaviour and the Gilles de la Tourette syndrome: a clinical study and review of the literature

Mary M. Robertsona1 c1, M. R. Trimblea1 and A. J. Leesa1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University College and Middlesex Hospital Schools of Medicine, National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London

Abstract

Thirty (33%) of 90 patients with the Gilles de la Tourette syndrome exhibited selfinjurious behaviour. Fourteen were head bangers, of whom two had cavum septum pellucidum. Clinical correlates of self-injury were the severity of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome symptoms and psychopathology, with special reference to obsessionality and hostility. We discuss an additional patient who died from a subdural haematoma as a result of head banging, and three who had permanent vision impairment from self inflicted eye injuries.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr M. M. Robertson, Academic Department of Psychiatry, University College and Middlesex Hospital Schools of Medicine, Middlesex Hospital, London WIN 8AA.

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