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March 1950

Diagnostic Signs, Reflexes, and Syndromes.

Arch NeurPsych. 1950;63(3):532-534. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1950.02310210178017

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The purpose of this book, now in its third edition, is to standardize diagnostic signs, reflexes and syndromes. The junior author is medical chief to the neuropsychiatric department of a general hospital of high repute. The authors state in the preface that such men as W. G. Spiller, Charles H. Frazier and N. W. Winkelman "furnished valuable source information." All this lured me to browse in the sections devoted to neurologic terms. Here are some of the things I have learned. They are all amusing or startling, or even frightening. (The italics are mine.)

"Piotrowski's sign: Percussion of the tibialis anticus muscle induces dorsal flexion and supination of the foot" (pages 14 and 62). Piotrowski himself said that dorsiflexion and supination of the foot on the elicitation of his reflex are seen in normal persons, and are inconstant and of no pathologic significance. The essential characteristic of Piotrowski's reflex is