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Kahlbaum's syndrome I

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A no longer used term for a hereditary, chronic form of schizophrenia, characterised by insidious change of personality, bizarre, illogical and senseless thought processes and actions, delusions, and hallucinations. No motor symptoms. Onset usually before age 20. Prognosis is poor.

The disturbance was first described by Ewald Hecker (1843-1909) in 1871 as a disease of puberty leading to mental decay (Blödsinn). It is therefore similar to Dementia præcox, and was categorised in this group by Emil Kraepelin in 1893.

We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Bad Reichenhall, Germany, for information submitted


  • E. Hecker:
    Die Hebephrenie. Ein Beitrag zur klinischen Psychiatrie.
    [Virchows] Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medicin, Berlin, 1871; 52: 394-429.
  • K. L. Kahlbaum:
    Über eine besondere Form des moralischen Irreseins (Heboidophrenie).
    Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Berlin, 1889, H. 46.

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