Joseph Babinski

Babinski, Joseph


Born Nov. 2, 1857, in Paris; died there Oct. 29, 1932. French neuropathologist. Member of the Academy of Sciences in Paris (1914).

Babinski graduated from medical school in Paris and after defending his doctoral dissertation (1886) became head of the clinic in the Salpétriére. He was one of the founders of the Society of Neuropathologists and Psychiatrists in Paris (1899), an honorary member of it, and its chairman from 1907. Babinski described the reflex that bears his name (1896), an important factor in the diagnosis of organic lesions of the nervous system (corticospinal tract). He identified the complex of symptoms characterizing cerebellar lesions and other organic nervous diseases. Babinski was one of the first in France to operate on a tumor of the central nervous system (1911).


Étude anatomique et clinique sur la sclérose en plaques. Paris, 1885.
“Sur le réflexe cutané plantaire dans certaines affections organiques du système nerveux central.” Compte rendu de la Société de Biologie, 1896, issue 10, vol. 3. Page 207.


“Joseph Jules Babinski.” In R. H. Major, History of Medicine, vol. 2. Springfield, 1954. Page 965.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the late 1800s, Wilhelm Erb, Joseph Babinski, William Gowers, and others developed the neurologic exam as we know it today.
By 1901, Joseph Babinski, one of Charcot's favorite disciples, had separated neurological organic diseases from hysteria.
During his youth, Joseph Babinski lived through both the Franco-Prussian War between July 1870 to January 1871, and the Paris Commune uprising, with its sad end in May 1871.
On 27 July 1898, in the Semaine Medicale, Joseph Babinski discussed the plantar reflex: both in the case of central nervous system anomalies and in the healthy newborn infant during his first year, following a moving sensory stimulus, applied to the lateral plantar surface of the foot, there would be a slow extension of the big toe.
As early as 1911 in France, P Lecene performed the first operation to relieve compression of the spinal cord for a patient of Joseph Babinski who had a meningioma.
When one friend asked Joseph Babinski in 1932 how he thought his achievement would be judged by posterity, he replied: 'The sign is not really my greatest achievement.
2) Although the toe response to plantar stimulation had been recognized earlier, (2) the difference between normal and pathologic responses and their clinical implications were first described by Joseph Babinski in two papers published in 1896 and 1898, respectively.
1) However, we disagree with Jay on the correlation between this communication and the so-called Babinski sign; Joseph Babinski never called the upgoing toe as such.