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 on November 17, 1857 in Paris, France
  • Died on October 29, 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



Eponymous terms


Michael Thomas LITFL Author 4

Final year MBBS student at Curtin Medical School. Keen interest in internal medicine and neurology, medical education, and integrating specialist healthcare into rural medical practice.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, 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 |

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.