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April 8, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(14):1119. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500410043006

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Neurologistshave been active of late in seeking for new varieties of reflexes and in endeavoring to interpret clinically alterations which occur in them. Among the more interesting of the phenomena described are the Babinski phenomenon and Oppenheim's sign.

The former of the two reflexes is elicited by stroking the plantar surface of the foot with a needle or with the handle of a percussion hammer. In normal adult individuals, the response consists in plantar flexion of the toes, but in new-born infants, and in patients in whom the pyramidal tract is degenerated, there is dorsal flexion, particularly of the great toe.

The reflex known as Oppenheim's sign was described in 1902. On stroking the medial surface of the leg at the posterior margin of the tibia or a little behind it with the blunt handle of a percussion hammer, the stroke passing from above downward from a point a hand's

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