Althaus, Julius (DNB01)

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ALTHAUS, JULIUS (1833–1900), physician, born in Lippe-Detmold, Germany, on 31 March 1833, was the fourth and youngest son of Friedrich Althaus and Julie Draescke. His father was general superintendent of Lippe-Detmold, a protestant dignity equal to the Anglican rural dean; his mother was a daughter of the last protestant bishop of Magdeburg. He received his classical education at the university of Bonn, and began his medical studies at Göttingen in 1851. He proceeded thence to Heidelberg and graduated M.D. at Berlin in 1855, with a thesis ‘de Pneumothorace.’ He then proceeded to Sicily with Professor Johannes Mueller (1801–1858), and thence to Paris, where he worked under Professor Jean Martin Charcot (1825–1898). Althaus afterwards settled in London, when Robert Bentley Todd [q. v.] gave him opportunities of undertaking the electrical treatment of patients at King’s College Hospital. In 1866 he was mainly instrumental in founding the Hospital for Epilepsy and Paralysis in Regent’s Park, to which he was attached as physician until his resignation in 1894, when he was appointed to the honorary office of consulting physician. He was admitted a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1860. At the time of his death he was a corresponding fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and he had received the insignia of the order of the crown of Italy. He died in London on 11 June 1900, and was buried at Woking. Althaus married, in June 1859, Anna Wilhelmina Pelzer, and had three children—two sons and a daughter, of whom the latter survives him.

Althaus was a man of very varied attainments, with great musical gifts. He was greatly interested in the therapeutic effects of electricity. He published:

  1. ‘A Treatise on Medical Electricity,’ London, 1859, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1873.
  2. ‘The Spas of Europe,’ London, 1862, 8vo.
  3. ‘On Paralysis, Neuralgia, and other Affections of the Nervous System, and their successful Treatment by Galvanism and Faradisation,’ London, 1864, 12mo.
  4. ‘On Sclerosis of the Spinal Cord,’ London, 1885, 8vo; translated into German, Leipzig, 1884, and into French by J. Morin, with a preface by Prof. Charcot, Paris, 1885, 8vo.
  5. ‘Influenza: its Pathology, Symptoms, Complications, and Sequels,’ 2nd edit. London, 1892, 12mo.
  6. ‘On Failure of Brain Power: its Nature and Treatment,’ 4th edit. London, 1894, 12mo.

[Dr. Pagel’s Biographisches Lexicon, 1900; obituary notices in the Lancet and British Medical Journal, vol. i. 1900; Times, 13 June 1900; private information.]

D’A. P.