Forensic assessments from the Netherlands Institute of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology in retrospect; applications of genetics and neuroscience, in 2000 and 2009
background Developments in neurosciences and genetics are relevant for forensic psychiatry.
aim To find out whether and how genetic and neuroscientific applications are being used in forensic psychiatric assessments, and, if they are, to estimate to what extent new applications will fit in with these uses.
method We analysed 60 forensic psychiatric assessments from the Netherlands Institute of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Pieter Baan Center, and 30 non-clinical assessments from 2000 and 2009.
results We found that (behavioral) genetic, neurological and neuropsychological applications played only a modest role in forensic psychiatric assessment and they represent different phases of the implementation process. Neuropsychological assessment already occupied a position of some importance, but needed to be better integrated. Applications from neurology were still being developed. Clinical genetic assessment was being used occasionally in order to diagnose a genetic syndrome with behavioral consequences.
conclusion If further validated information becomes available in the future, it should be possible to integrate new research methods more fully into current clinical practice.