Joseph Babinski

Joseph Jules François Félix Babinski (1857-1932) was a French neurologist.

1902, Babinski coined the term dysdiodochokinesis to describe the inability to perform rapid execution of movements requiring alternate contractions of agonist and antagonist muscles. Originally diadococinésie from the Greek diadocho (“alternating”) and kinesie (“movements”)

In 1899 Babinski observed that patients with cerebellar lesions could not execute complex movements without breaking down into their elemental movements (dysmetria). He introduced the term asynergia as a major deficit in cerebellar disease in 1899 as the “inability to carry out complex movements involving the harmonious cooperation of separate muscle groups”

  • Born 17 November 1857 Paris, France
  • Died 29 October 1932

Medical Eponyms
  • Anton-Babinski syndrome (Anton syndrome) – in the presence of complete blindness, a persistent confabulation and denial by the patient that there is any loss of visual perception
  • Babinski sign I (Babinski reflex) – pathological reflex where the great toe extends and flexes toward the top of the foot and the other toes fan out when the sole of the foot is firmly stroked.
  • Babinski sign II (Babinski ear phenomenon) Galvanic test for unilateral hearing disturbance
  • Babinski’s sign III – the loss or lessening of the Achilles tendon reflex. A sign of sciatica, used to differentiate it from hyteric sciatica
  • Babinski syndrome (Babinski-Vaquez syndrome) anisocoria may result from a syphilitic aneurysm of the aorta
  • Babinski-Nageotte syndrome – unilateral bulbar affections with lesions of the medullobulbar transitional region. Cerebellar hemiataxia, contralateral hemiparesis, enophthalmos, ptosis, and miosis

Major Publications



the person behind the name

Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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