- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum

Born  1828
Died  1899

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German psychiatrist, born December 28, 1828, Driesen, Neumark; now Drezdenko, Poland; died April 15, 1899, Görlitz.

Biography of Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum

After studying mathematics, natural sciences and medicine in Königsberg, Würzburg, and Leipzig, Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum obtained his doctorate in October 1855 in Berlin. The following year he was approbiert and began working as second physician at a lunatic asylum, the Provinzial-Irrenanstalt Allenberg in Wehlau, government district of Königsberg, east Prussia; later he was at the same time Privatdozent in Königsberg, where he lectured from 1863 to 1866. From 1867 he was the director of his own therapeutical institution for the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed in Görlitz, in the extreme eastern Germany, along the Neisse River, where he was appointed Sanitätsrat - health counsellor. This task kept him busy for the rest of his life.

Kahlbaum is counted among the most important representatives of German psychiatry in the 19th century. He emphasised the importance of upbringing for the so-called "juvenile madness" (Jugendliche Irresein) - schizophrenia - and classified this disease according to various clinical patterns.

A special department for abnormal children and juveniles was connected to his hospital. His literary works mainly concerns psychiatry.

Kahlbaum was the first to distinguish clearly between the clinical pictures and the diseases in which they occur. The term hebephrenia was coined by Kahlbaum and Hecker.


  • De avium tractus alimentarii anatomia et histologia nonnulla.
    Doctoral dissertation, Berlin, 1854.
  • Die Gruppierung der psychischen Krankheiten und die Einteilung der Seeelenstörungen. Danzig, 1863.
  • Die Sinnesdelirien (und ihre verschiedene Formen). 1866.
  • Die Katatonie. Eine neue, klinische Krankheitsform.
    Berlin, A. Hirschwald, 1874.
    59: Katatonia oder das Spannungsirresein.
  • Die klinisch-diagnostischen Gesichtspunkte der Pathologie.
    (Volkmanns) Sammlung klinisher Vorträge, Leipzig, 1878, Nr. 126.
  • Über zyklisches Irresein. Der Irrenfreund, Paderborn, 1882; 10.
  • Über jugendliche Nerven- und Gemütskranke und ihre pädagogische Behandlung in der Anstalt.
    Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Berlin, 1884, H. 44.

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