In the complete description of the toe phenomenon and its diagnostic value, which Babinski gave in 1898 when reviewing the various diseases in which this sign might be observed, he said:
In a case of partial epilepsy, I have had the opportunity to observe the following phenomenon. The patient was a man subject to attacks of jacksonian epilepsy, in which the convulsive movements occurred on the left side of the body. Having examined the patient immediately after an attack, I observed that stimulation of the sole of the foot gave rise to extension of the toes on the left. When this test was tried while the patient had no attack, the cutaneous plantar reflex was normal, and the left side presented no disorder of motility.
In 1899, Babinski added further observations concerning the toe sign in what is known as idiopathic or essential epilepsy. He said that in persons whose
TOURNAY A. BEHAVIOR OF THE PLANTAR REFLEX IN JACKSONIAN EPILEPSY: WITH SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE PATHOLOGIC PHYSIOLOGY OF THE BABINSKI SIGN. Arch NeurPsych. 1925;13(5):592–595. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1925.02200110049004
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