Sign, Babinski
A neurologic reflex that constitutes an important medical examination based upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may well mean trouble. The Babinski sign is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the outside) of the sole. The examiner begins the stimulation back at the heel and goes forward to the base of the toes. There are diverse ways to elicit the Babinski response. A useful way that requires no special equipment is with firm pressure from the examiner's thumb. Just stroke the sole firmly with the thumb from back to front along the outside edge. Too vigorous stimulation may cause withdrawal of the foot or toe, which can be mistaken as a Babinski response. The normal mature Babinski reflex is characterized by extension of the great toe and also by fanning of the other toes. Most newborn babies show a Babinski response because they are neurologically immature. Upon stimulation of the sole, they extend the great toe . Many young infants do this, too, and it is perfectly normal. However, in time during infancy the Babinski response vanishes and, under normal circumstances, should never return. A Babinski response in an older child or adult is abnormal. It is a sign of a problem in the central nervous system (CNS), most likely in a part of the CNS called the pyramidal tract. Asymmetry of the Babinski response — when it is present on one side but not the other — is abnormal. It is a sign not merely of trouble but helps to lateralize that trouble (tell which side of the CNS is involved). The Babinski sign is known by a number of other names: the plantar response (because the sole is the plantar surface of the foot), the toe or big toe sign or phenomenon, and the Babinski phenomenon or reflex. It is common but wrong to say that the Babinski sign is positive or negative. It is either present or absent. Babinski, despite the Slavic sound of the name, was French: Joseph Francois Felix Babinski (1857-1932). His name will never be forgotten in medicine, thanks to the Babinski sign.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Babinski reflex — An important neurologic test based, believe it or not, upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stimulated. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The Babinski reflex is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Babinski-Zeichen — Als Babinski Reflex oder Babinski Zeichen bezeichnet man einen pathologischen Reflex, der bei einer Schädigung der Pyramidenbahn auftritt (Pyramidenbahnzeichen). Der Reflex ist nach dem polnisch französischen Neurologen Joseph Babinski benannt,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Babinski-Reflex — Babinski Zeichen Als Babinski Reflex oder Babinski Zeichen bezeichnet man einen pathologischen Reflex, der bei einer Schädigung der Pyramidenbahn auftritt (Pyramidenbahnzeichen). Der Reflex ist nach dem polnisch französischen Neurologen Joseph… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Babinski toe sign — Babinski reflex …   Medical dictionary

  • Babinski sign — An important neurologic examination based upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stimulated. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The Babinski sign is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the outside) of the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Sign, toe — An important neurologic test based upon what the toes do when the sole of the foot is stimulated. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The toe sign, also called the Babinski reflex, is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Babinski phenomenon — A neurologic reflex that constitutes an important medical examination based upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The Babinski reflex is obtained by stimulating the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Sign — Any abnormality that indicates a disease process, such as a change in appearance, sensation, or function, that is observed by a physician when evaluating a patient. * * * 1. Any abnormality indicative of disease, discoverable on examination of… …   Medical dictionary

  • Babinski response — An important neurologic examination based upon what the big toe does when the sole of the foot is stroked. If the big toe goes up, that may mean trouble. The Babinski response is obtained by stimulating the external portion (the outside) of the… …   Medical dictionary

  • Babinski sign — noun extension upward of the toes when the sole of the foot is stroked firmly on the outer side from the heel to the front; normal in infants under the age of two years but a sign of brain or spinal cord injury in older persons • Syn: ↑Babinski,… …   Useful english dictionary

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