Article Text

Download PDFPDF

The syndrome of Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum.
  1. M P Barnes,
  2. M Saunders,
  3. T J Walls,
  4. I Saunders,
  5. C A Kirk


    Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum was the first to describe catatonia in 1868. There has been a tendency to consider catatonia as a psychiatric disease despite many case reports demonstrating a wide range of medical and neurological as well as psychiatric causes. We present our accumulated experience of the catatonic syndrome. Most cases (36%) were associated with affective illness but five cases (20%) had a defined organic disorder. A significant minority had no identifiable cause and there was only one case of schizophrenia. The idiopathic and affective groups had a high incidence of recurrent catatonic episodes and many had a family history of a similar problem. The prognosis was excellent, except for the few patients who presented with the acute and rapidly progressive form of the syndrome which led to acute renal failure.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.