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Babinski's Sign - definition

"Ba-bin-ski" Or Plantar Reflex


The sign was identified by Joseph Babinski (French Neurologist). It therefore takes his name.

Babinski’s sign (also known as the plantar reflex) can be a feature of myelopathy involving the cervical spinal cord. It is a test performed by doctors during their neurological examination. By scratching the outer – underside of a patients feet, a positive test (i.e. one suggesting central nervous disease, known as “Babinski’s Positive”) causes a reflex to make their toes curl upwards as per this video. In a normal test the toes would curl downwards. This test can be tricky to perform, as most people are ticklish or do not like have their feet touched, so they can recoil in response mimicking a positive Babbinski’s test. Interestingly this reflex is also present in babies. It takes a few months before a baby develops the normal, down going response.

Positive Test